Coca-Cola is set to launch a range of carbonated drinks in India as it finds itself increasingly at odds with cheaper local brands.
Known as Kinley Flavors, the range of drinks will be available in varieties such as lemon, orange and cumin.
They will be 35-40% cheaper than the rest of Coke’s carbonates – including trademark Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite – according to India’s Economic Times.
Local players have increased their share of the beverage market with new carbonated products, stealing consumers from Coke’s core brands. But despite being cheaper and establishing a cult following, the so-called ‘B brands’ rarely manage to expand beyond a single region of the country.
That has essentially created exclaves of the Indian market, such as Tamil Nadu in the south, where Coca-Cola has consistently underperformed amid low availability.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola told the Economic Times: “Coca-Cola has developed a new value-based proposition for price-conscious consumers in aerated beverages. These new launches will be available in 250ml PET packs at attractive price points. We are doing pilots in select markets and will expand over time.”
The new drinks will add to Coca-Cola’s local flavours in India, including the green mango-flavoured Fanta it launched in February 2016.
Analysis: ‘Affordable pricing key to Coca-Cola’
Smaller pack sizes and lower prices have become key strategies used by Coca-Cola to drive volume growth in emerging markets – both in India and elsewhere across Asia, Africa and Latin America. In Brazil, the company introduced a 220ml beverage can this year that it said ‘addresses consumer demand for smaller portion sizes and greater product variety’.
Coca-Cola Femsa offers an 8oz can in the Philippines can that retails for the equivalent of $0.14, and was planning in February 2016 to introduce a 400ml size of Coca-Cola – larger than the standard cans but smaller than individually portioned 500ml bottles.
According to Coca-Cola global procurement director Mário Sérgio Gomes, speaking earlier this year, “helping consumers experience our products in new ways remains a primary goal at Coca-Cola.”
In recent weeks, it announced plans to experiment with frozen desserts in the country, as it continues to armour itself against a fall in the consumption of sugary drinks.
It won’t be the first food launch in the Coca-Cola system – Coke Amatil has previously released Perfect Fruit, a frozen fruit snack – but it remains a rarity for the company, which, as relayed by former CEO Muhtar Kent, is focused on hydration.
“We don’t want to be distracted by food,” he said.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017