According to Coca-Cola, an important part of Coca-Cola India's recent growth strategy includes the launch of a range of ethnic beverages in India using local ingredients such as cumin, buttermilk and various local fruits.
So far, Coca-Cola India's main products include Rimzim (a carbonated beverage made with cumin fragrance) and a variety of products made from local fruit under the Minute Maid brand.
A Coca-Cola India spokesperson said: "As part of Coca-Cola's India's hyperlocalization strategy, we are promoting beverage localization and developing a national beverage portfolio to suit the tastes of consumers in different parts of India."
“It is especially worth mentioning that Rimzim, in India, constitutes an integral part of Indian culture, and its formula is closer to the taste of consumers.”
“Our juice source products are also important for this ethnic product portfolio, such as Colour in Tamil Nadu, made from southern Indian grapes, and litchi foods in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. Because consumers in East India particularly like lychee."
As for why Coca-Cola India chose to take the traditional route for new product development, the spokesperson said that this is because ethnic drinks "reproduce the magic of Indian homemade beverage formula packaging."
In addition, demand for such beverages is strong across India, and more and more consumers tend to use familiar ingredients and flavors.
Coca-Cola India and South-West Asia CEO Krishnakumar agreed, in an interview with Bloomberg: "There are 29 states in India, actually 29 regions. People speak different languages, have different eating habits, different Consumption motivation."
He estimates that the value of the Indian juice market is about $3.6 billion, of which 72% comes from small restaurants and stalls.
According to data from Indian consulting firm Technopak Advisors, India’s overall demand for national packaged beverages has increased by 32% since 2016, which is three times the growth rate of ordinary carbonated beverages.
Upcoming national products
One of the more unique ethnic beverage products that Coca-Cola India is looking for is aam panna.
Aam panna is a “cool” drink, and locals, especially those in northern India, drink this drink in the heat of the summer. Traditionally, aam panna is made from raw mangoes, sugar and various spices.
The benefits of this drink include treatment of gastrointestinal disorders and increased resistance to tuberculosis, cholera and anemia. It is also a source of high pectin and various vitamins due to its raw mango ingredients.
Coca-Cola's aam panna version will be launched in the summer.
Other interesting blends to be launched by Coca-Cola India include the Indian Yogurt Drink Lacy Indian Milkshake and Spiced Buttermilk, which will be available in 2020.
Another potential area that the company will be involved in is Ayurveda, a traditional Indian treatment system that has been implemented in India for thousands of years.
Ayurveda has many benefits, such as relaxing people and having better sleep. Coca-Cola is studying these areas.
Coca Cola in India
Coca-Cola previously listed India as one of the company's three major markets. Coca-Cola ranks sixth in the world in terms of sales in the Indian market and is expected to reach fifth place by the end of 2019.
A Coca-Cola spokesperson said: "In India, we will be involved in bubble drinks, juice drinks, dairy products, water and enhanced water."
“So we will launch a range of products, including products with functional benefits, products that can only be used for refreshment, diet products, and sugar-added products. But ultimately, consumers decide what they want to see in India. New products. Overall, our portfolio has achieved a good balance of growth."
Coca-Cola India will also focus on the fruit circular economy initiative, which is consistent with the focus of ethnic beverages.
As part of the program, Coca-Cola India announced in June 2017 that it will work with partners over the next five years to contribute $1.7 billion to the development of the Indian agro-ecosystem.
In a video on the company's website, Asim Parekh, vice president of fruit recycling economy, said: "One of the biggest problems we face is that 50% of the population is engaged in agriculture, but the income has not kept pace with other industries. This is Why are we 50% of our population facing tremendous pressure? The fruit recycling economy is a way for us to change Indian fruit farmers."
“Participants in the fruit supply chain are not well connected. This means that the fruit does not flow through the cycle, so its value does not move to the farmers in the opposite way. That is why we decided to use locally produced fruit. ”