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Coca-Cola sees Indian milk potential

News, 27 January 2016
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NEW DELHI: Coca-Cola has announced that it will roll out its Vio flavoured milk brand across India as the drinks giant spots opportunities for value-added dairy products in a country known for its high milk consumption.

The move also recognises that consumers around the world are increasingly demanding healthier products and the company believes milk will be an important growth sector after fizzy drinks, water the fruit juices, Hindu Business Line reported.

Describing the launch as a strategic move, Venkatesh Kini, president of Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said the Vio brand had been developed at its R&D centre in Gurgaon specifically to cater for Indian tastes.

Vio will be available in two flavours – Kesar Treat and Almond Delight – and is priced at Rs 25 for a 200 ml pack. Kini said it would be rolled out across modern trade retail stores in the first week of February, but until then Reliance Retail will have exclusive sales rights across its 500 stores.

Coca-Cola will continue to seek partnerships with established Indian dairy companies, Kini added, because the company want to focus on leveraging its strength in branding, packaging and distribution.

Turning to how Coca-Cola intends to market the Vio brand, there will be a focus on youth and on-the-go consumption, said Debabrata Mukherjee, VP of marketing and commercial at Coca-Cola India and South West Asia.

He said much of the marketing strategy will focus on digital, but there also will be in-store promotions, opportunities for consumers to sample the product, as well as special Vio "dairy zones" set up at nine of Reliance Retail's stores.

It is estimated that Indian dairies produce 120-135bn litres a year and, although the flavoured market is thought to account for just 1% of the total, Coca-Cola's foray provides a clear signal about its ambitions in the country, where it is investing $5bn by 2020.

Data sourced from Hindu Business Line; additional content by Warc staff

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