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Coke to advance beverage localization, enhance ethnic drinks' portfolio

Coke to advance beverage localization, enhance ethnic drinks' portfolio

Beverage localization along with enhancement of ethnic drinks' portfolio is the way ahead for Coca-Cola India, as it transforms from being a local to a hyper-local brand, a top company executive said.

Presently, the global beverage major's local arm manufactures all products in India, while almost all drinks' ingredients are sourced from here.

"We have our manufacturing operations in almost all states of India, employing local people and creating opportunities for them… our supply chain too is spread in all parts of the country," T. Krishnakumar, President, Coca-Cola India & South West Asia, told IANS.

"In fact, for the last few years we have gone from local to hyper local."

As part of the company's hyper-local strategy, Krishnakumar said: "We are advancing the beverage localization and developing an ethnic portfolio to suit various regions."

"This portfolio approach of core, local, hyper-local and fruit circular economy products remains at the heart of what we do."

Notably, the company recently introduced ethnic drinks like Vio spiced buttermilk and Minute Maid Nutriforce.

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-localized with the use of Bengali language.

"Coca-Cola India has been driving its hyper-local strategy not only with localized product launches but also through localized communication," he said.

"To kick-start the initiative, Coca-Cola has rolled out Bengali packaging labels for all beverages across its portfolio, which includes Coke, Sprite, Thums Up, Maaza, Fanta, Limca, Kinley, and Minute Maid."

However, the company will continue to introduce brands from its international portfolio as well but made locally.

"With the long-standing commitment as a 'Total Beverage Company', premium international launches are a step towards driving growth by expanding the beverage choice to offer consumers a wide array of functional beverages to cater to all their hydration needs," Krishnakumar said.

"We believe in catering to the needs and preferences of consumers and we will continue this journey going forward."

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 150,000 people..