BEIJING: Coca-Cola, the US soft drinks titan, has launched a new dairy drink in China, as part of the company's efforts to develop products that suit local tastes in what is now its third biggest market worldwide.

Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky was created at the beverage maker's Global Innovation Technology Center in Shanghai, and will also be produced in the world's most populous nation.

It contains a mixture of fruit juice, milk powder, whey and coconut, and will be available in around 300 cities in the rapidly-growing economy by the end of 2009.

Doug Jackson, president of Coca-Cola Greater China, said it was a "key milestone" for Minute Maid, and "underscores our commitment to China in developing new products for the local market and the world from our Chinese R&D centre."

Andres Kiger, senior marketing director of Coca-Cola Greater China, added that "the fascinating thing in China is the huge amount of growth in many categories."

"We are trying to broaden (our) product portfolio, listen to consumers and develop products associated to their needs."

The owner of Sprite and Fanta saw the Chinese government block its attempt to buy the Huiyuan Juice Company earlier this year.

In response, Jackson recently stated that the American corporation would seek to introduce more new drinks of its own in the Asian country.

One reason the dairy sector is seen as being particularly attractive is that many Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious.

Some 6.2 million litres of dairy drinks were sold in China last year, with Nutri Express, owned by Wahaha Group, the largest domestic drinks manufacturer, holding around 70% of the market, according to figures from China Investment.

BBH China has developed a national advertising campaign, featuring pop star Eason Chan, to promote the launch of Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky.

It will include TV and print ads, as well as digital, with an interactive element asking consumers to take pictures of themselves drinking Coke's latest offering and then upload them to the web.

As previously reported, Pepsi has utilised a variety of similar platforms in the recent past, in an effort to engage its customers in China using co-creation.

Data sourced from Media/Shanghai Daily; additional content by Warc staff