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Cloudy Future? Coke sees less fizz in Limca push

12-April-2004
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Cloudy Future? Coke sees less fizz in Limca push

Has Coca-Cola India (CCI) put its cloudy lemon soft drink brand Limca on the backburner? While there are no clear answers to that, the company is definitely not inclined to add some zing to the acquired brand this summer.

The brand is not a ‘priority’, conceded CCI’s director-marketing Sharda Agarwal while talking to FE at the launch of Vanilla Coke last week.

“Limca is not high priority for us, this year,” Ms Agarwal said. Interestingly, the company has also decided not to continue its association with Hindi film star and TV anchor Sonali Bendre who was signed by the soft drink major two years ago in 2002 to add some zing to the brand. “Our contract with Ms Bendre is over and we have not renewed it,” she added.

An over 30-years old brand, Limca—originally from the stable of Ramesh Chauhan’s Parle which was later sold off to CCI along with his other brands—holds a strong equity in the country particularly in key regional markets such as Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.

The brand, which was once strongly positioned as ‘lime-n-lemoni’, was given a contemporary feel in 2002 with a new campaign featuring Sonali Bendre.

This year, however, there has been no new advertising for the brand so far. One of the reasons perhaps why the company is not pushing the brand this summer is sluggish growth of the cloudy lemon market. The segment, industry observers say, has not been growing in the recent past.

Instead, there’s a shift to the clear lime category which they say is booming. “The clear lime category is booming and our brand Sprite is leading that,” Ms Agarwal said. The cloudy lemon segment is estimated to account for 10 per cent of the overall carbonated soft drinks (CSD) market.

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