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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Coca-Cola's 'Minute Maid' spreading wings in India -kini

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola's Minute Maid Pulpy Orange drink is doing good business in three southern states since its launch in March and is poised to slowly enter other markets across the country.

Minute Maid, a leading juice and juice drink brand from the US firm now available in 60 countries, was launched in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu March 21.

'We are in the process of launching Minute Maid in a phased manner. It is also now available across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh,' Venkatesh Kini, the Coca-Cola India Vice President (Marketing), told IANS.

'Our intention is to go national. However, we will not be able to comment on the timing of Minute Maid's expansion to other parts of India yet,' he said.

'Minute Maid has crossed the one million sales mark in the three (southern) states. Also the price point of Rs.25 is the lowest entry point for any orange based juice drink,' said Kini.

'With our mango drink Maaza already India's largest selling juice drink brand, we expect Minute Maid to further extend Coca-Cola's leadership in the juice drink segment.'

According to beverage industry experts, the volume of the Indian juice market is pegged at 500 million cases.

Of this, 10 percent (50 million cases) forms the packaged juice segment. Eighty-five percent of this constitutes mango-based juices, nectars and drinks.

Coca-Cola has invested more than $1 billion in its Indian operations, emerging as one of the country's top international investors. The company's business operations engage approximately 150,000 people in India, it said.

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