Coca-Cola India is debating the possibility of launching its hot beverage brand Far Coast in India. “The company is keenly awaiting the results of the study, but it may not happen anytime soon,” said a company source. Coca-Cola India's spokesperson however, denied any such plans.
While it may still take some more time, the cola major plans to enter the freshly brewed hot beverage market in India through bars that will serve tea, coffee and cocoa products. It introduced a similar concept in Singapore recently and sees a great opportunity for the product in other mature hot beverage markets across Asia.
According to Coca-Cola estimates, the global market for freshly brewed beverages stands at 400 billion litres and half of this is in Asia. Far Coast is being seen as a part of Coca-Cola's long-term strategy for diversification into new products. Moreover, hot beverages have become an important element in the company's portfolio the world over with increasing health consciousness and declining carbonated beverage market.
There has been a great deal of activity in the hot beverage retail market in India lately. While Costa Coffee has entered the market, Starbucks is expected to do that soon. Two more Italian coffee brands are likely to enter India in the next six months.
The Coca-Cola source said Far Coast will be targeting restaurants, cinema operators, convenience stores and other businesses that want to offer gourmet coffee and tea, but lack the facilities. It will offer a flexible format to the company's institutional customers that are easy to operate.
Its existing chain of Georgia tea and coffee dispensers will continue to penetrate the market within that format. Coca-Cola India is also learnt to be working on a fresh plan on how to give a bigger push to Georgia brand.