NEW DELHI: Coca-Cola India is determined on returning to double-digit growth through expanding its portfolio of drinks, greater segmentation and significantly increasing its fruit-buying capabilities, the head of the company has said.

Speaking in an interview with the Hindu Business Line, T Krishnakumar, President of Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia, pointed to the success of its Maaza fruit-based brand.

He said that the company had worked with farmers for years to help them increase their yields and that, in turn, the Maaza brand had grown by five times over the past decade, while fruit-buying quadrupled over the same period.

This year also saw the launch of Minute Maid Mosambi, which uses fruit sourced from the state of Maharashtra, and Krishnakumar indicated that he saw plenty of other opportunities offered by fruit drinks, which would also benefit Indian farmers and the wider economy.

“As Prime Minister Modi had said we should add more fruit to sparkling drinks to help the farmers, we decided to buy oranges in Maharashtra and launched the Fanta Fruity Orange with 5% juice; now we will increase it to 10%,” he said.

“Fanta will come with juice over a period of time. All the juice for Fanta will be sourced from India over the years. So we are focusing on the concept of a ‘Fruit Circular Economy’.”

He added that Coca-Cola will pick up fruits which have substantial cultivation and create raw material of them to add to their products.

“We believe this will increase our fruit buying significantly. We will use it to add juice to the sparkling portfolio, enhance local fruit variants within our existing juice portfolio, launch a new range of value-added products, and export Indian fruits to the global system. We will make it a very important part of our existence.”

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