Coca-Cola expects its Maaza juice brand to be another billion-dollar brand within the next two years and isn’t worried about new players such as Reliance Retail entering the market. carbonated drinks.
The cola major is also upping its game in the premium hydration space by brands such as Schweppes and Smartwater and boosting penetration into premium channels.
Additionally, it is pushing its small-package strategy to increase household penetration amid inflationary woes.
He expects the rural market to rebound thanks to favorable factors such as a good monsoon, a recovery in the job market and government investments in the generation of infrastructure, said the president of Coca-Cola (India and South West Asia), Sanket Ray, during a roundtable with the media. tuesday.
Last week, global soft drink leader The Coca-Cola Company said its lemon-lime soft drink Sprite had become a billion-dollar brand in the Indian market.
Earlier, Coca-Cola expected Maaza to join the billion dollar league in 2023. However, due to a spike in mango prices in 2022 as the weather played spoilsport, the company now expects that to happen a year later.
”We would like our juice brand Maaza to become a billion dollar brand and that is clearly our ambition. But it may take longer and may not happen next year.
”With mango pulp prices soaring, we don’t know how next year will go. If it happens next year, it will be good. But it should happen by 2024,’ Ray said.
In January this year, Coca-Cola said its Indian soft drink brand Thums Up had become a billion-dollar brand in 2021.
Maaza is a mango drink made from the pulp of the Alphonso variety.
Asked about the current size of Maaza’s business, Ray said, “We should end this year around Rs 4,500 crore to Rs 5,000 crore.” Maaza was acquired by Parle Bisleri’s Ramesh Chauhan’s Coca-Cola in 1993, along with brands like Thums Up, Limca, Citra and Gold Spot, when the Atlanta-based company had re-entered the Indian market.
Asked about the market dynamics after big companies such as Reliance Retail and Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) entered the drinks segment, Ray said it was positive and would only help the category grow. .
According to him, the entry of the two local majors is a “great opportunity”, but with increased competition, and they would also invest to further develop the market and bring innovations to evolve the category and ultimately benefit consumers. consumers.
Ray, however, also said the entry of Reliance Retail and TCPL may cause “some local disruption” leading to consolidation, but pricing won’t be a game changer.
“This penetration category is one of the lowest in FMCG. Coke and Pepsi don’t have enough budget to get into this,” he said when asked what the market dynamics would be with their entry.
Reliance Retail had acquired local brand Campa Cola, signaling its intention to enter the soft drinks market in India. TCPL expands its presence in the beverage market India is the world’s fifth largest market for Coca-Cola.
In its latest global results, Coca-Cola said it continued to strengthen in the first half with market share gains for sparkling offers in India.
Coca-Cola Company President and CEO, James Quincey, said: “We have achieved 2.5 billion transactions in India at affordable prices through the expansion of returnable glass bottles and PET packaging. for single use.” PTI KRH RKL KRH ANU ANU
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