Monday, July 18, 2005

Coke, Pepsi to concentrate on non-cola brands

With growth patterns across the world tilting in favour of non-cola beverages, soft drink brands Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are sharpening focus on their non-cola portfolios in India as well. This year, for example, though cola brands have registered roughly the same growth as last year, non-cola brands have been growing at anywhere between 30-50 per cent After aggressively pushing the fruit-based Maaza earlier this year in new flavours and packaging, Coca Cola is now in the process of rolling out a low-calorie variant of its clear lime brand, Sprite. Sprite Zero, as the product is called, is being pushed as having less than one calorie. The introduction of Sprite Zero comes close on the heels of another mint-lemon variant — Sprite Ice. Rival brand Pepsi has rolled out 7-Up Ice and limited edition flavours of Mirinda such as BlackBerry. The carbonated soft drink market in India is estimated at Rs 7,000 crore. In the non-carbonated segment, Coca-Cola is in the process of setting up small-format cafes called Georgia Junctions, to generate growth for its Georgia coffee. Pepsi, meanwhile, is busy focussing up visibility of Lipton Ice tea, which it has introduced jointly with Hindustan Lever. Both firms are also focussing diet variants of their flagship cola brands.