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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Coca-Cola plans manufacturing unit in Punjab - Kini

Coca-Cola is planning to set up a manufacturing facility in Punjab, as the company launches its fruit brand Minute Maid, in the states of Punjab , Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The Company has chalked out plans to establish a manufacturing unit in Punjab to cater to the Northern market. Venkatesh Kini, vice president, marketing, Coca-Cola India told, "This fruit juice manufacturing would be the first in the Northern region. We have not yet decided the exact location where it would be set up but talks are on with the Punjab government for the approval of the project. We expect that the unit would catalyse an investment of about Rs 50-100 crore. Moreover, keeping in mind the growth potential of the Northern market, we might start manufacturing from multiple locations. At present we are importing the product from China, where the juice, was launched last year. But soon we would be manufacturing it in India." Minute Maid is bottled at Coca-Cola's bottling unit in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh.

Adding further Kini said "The juice is imported from Brazil and the orange pulp from Florida. We recently launched the Pulpy Orange drink in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in February. After selling it successfully in the Southern market we are now targeting the Northern region.

In the last ten years, the company has invested over Rs 4,000 crore in India. With the planned investment of about Rs 1,000 crore lined up over the next few years for India, Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages plans to expand the bottling facilities also."

Minute Maid brand was first launched in 1945 and has a rich 62 year old history. Wheras the company has launched only the Pulpy Orange in the market, it is exploring the option of brining another100 odd products under the Minute Maid brand to India as well.

"As part of the same process, over the next two months, Minute Maid Pulpy Orange would be retailed across 20,000 outlets in these states. Since only 10% of the total juice market is packaged, there is a huge scope of tapping this market. And eventually the consumer will start shifting to the packaged form of fruit drinks," said Kini.

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