Coca-Cola has announced it aims to make India its third-largest market in the world as it expands away from carbonated drinks.
James Quincey, who was promoted to CEO of the company in May, is visiting India this week and told media that Coca-Cola will invest up to $5 billion in the country by 2020.
Profits of Coca-Cola India have increased by over 40% in the past four years, while the company’s volume has grown by 176 million unit cases. Coca-Cola will invest in building capabilities and infrastructure to secure long-term growth, said Quincey.
Coca-Cola plans to reduce sugar content in its products and as consumers shift to healthier alternatives, the company is diversifying into fruit juices, dairy products as well as coffee and tea.
“Earlier, 90% of the business was sparking; now, it’s under 70%,” said Quincey. “A 50:50 split of sparkling and non-sparkling could come by 2025 or 2030.”
He added: “The most immediate challenge for Coca-Cola’s India operations is to become number five in the foreseeable future, but my vision for India is it will be one of the top three markets in the world for Coca-Cola.”
Admitting that sales had fallen in the last quarter of 2016 and in the first quarter of 2017, Quincey said business had started to turn around.
“No business can grow in a perfect straight line. We’ve had a rough few months at the end of last year and at the beginning of this year but things are starting to turn around and come back. We are still very positive,” he said.
In July Coca-Cola announced it would launch a new range of carbonated soft drinks in India to compete with cheaper local brands.
Called Kinley Flavours, they will be 35-40% cheaper than the rest of Coke’s carbonates, including Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017