Thums Up for Coke India as brand inches towards pre-Covid offtake levels

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By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi, Oct 24 |
Beverages major Coca-Cola India continues to see improvement in operations along with offtake on the back of accelerated demand for its leading offering Thums Up.

Accordingly, not only the Indian subsidiary’s leadership, but also the global one has recognised the role of the cola brand in putting back the ‘Thunder’ in Coke India’s performance.

Considered by many, as the true cola brand of India, Thums Up, a market leader, was recently mentioned by Coca-Cola company’s CEO James Quincey.

At the company’s recently announced quarterly results, he said: “China is on its way to emerge stronger through solid performance in sparkling soft drinks and recovery efforts in India and Japan continue and we have seen meaningful improvement in the face of ongoing restrictions.

“Across our channels and regions our brand portfolio is working hard to return to pre-Covid levels of growth and we have made progress in the quarter,” he said adding that “local champions” such as Thums Up in India saw growth in the third quarter.

Not surprisingly, the total beverage maker is making all out effort to reach pre-Covid levels on the back of local offerings such Thums Up.

The brand was introduced in India at the time of Coke’s departure in 1977. It was bought by Coca-Cola India in 1993, after it made the re-entry into the country post economic liberalisation.

Under its hyper-local strategy, the beverage major has launched several products including ‘Spiced Buttermilk’, under its dairy brand ‘VIO’.

The company intends to gain more market share in India by developing region-specific localised products that suit the majority’s palate.

Consequently, the company has ramped up its focus on product innovation with an aim to build a localised consumer-centric portfolio.”

Besides introducing desi brands, the company has increased its use of regional languages and platforms to market products.

Recently, West Bengal became the first Indian state where the entire portfolio and marketing initiatives of Coca-Cola’s brands have been hyper-localised with the use of Bengali language.

In terms of new segments, Coke India entered into the nascent immunity-boosting beverages category in India.

Accordingly, the company under its master brand Minute Maid, introduced two new products which claim to deliver some of the daily essential nutrition requirements, extracted from fruits grown by the Indian farmers.

Furthermore, the beverage major is expected to complete the earlier announced $5 billion investment this year for creation of retail infrastructure, bottling plants and introduction of new products, amongst others.

Since its re-entry into India in 1993 till 2011, Coca-Cola had invested $2 billion in the country.

Additionally, the company has committed an investment of $1.7 billion towards creating a ‘Fruit Circular Economy’ to aid the Indian agri-ecosystem till 2023.

At present, the company offers a range of beverages, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Thums Up, Fanta, Limca and Sprite, amongst others.

In addition, the Coca-Cola India system provides direct employment to 25,000 people and indirect employment to more than 1,50,000 people.

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in)

Source: IANS

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