Come summer and the cola wars have taken off — this time on a different colour, literally.
While carbonated soft drinks major, Pepsico had recently launched a limited edition variant of Mirinda, its arch-rival Coke recently rolled out a reformulated, stronger version of Fanta in the southern states. Last month, Coke introduced its international bestselling juice brand, Minute Maid Pulpy Orange, in India few months after Pepsi reworked its Tropicana orange juice variant.
Orange-based drinks account for about Rs 1000 crore of the Rs 6000 crore carbonated soft drinks market (CSD). However, orange remains the bestselling variant in the Rs 210 crore fruit juices segment.
Industry watchers point out that though colas are still the largest segment among CSDs, clear lime (Sprite, 7 Up) and orange-based drinks have been growing at a faster rate at 7 per cent in the Indian market compared to the 4 per cent growth of the total CSD segment. The resurfacing of the pesticola controversy in the second-half of 2006 has also hit cola sales. Further, Indians have a stronger preference for fruit-based drinks.
Speaking about Mirinda Sorbet, the latest launch from the Pepsi Foods stable, Punita Lal, executive director, marketing, Pepsi Foods, said the product had been introduced to give consumers a different experience from the Mirinda brand.
“It is a more international and premium drink, which has a different taste,” Lal said. Similarly, seeing the fast growing demand for fruit-flavoured drinks, Coke introduced a stronger variant of Fanta in four southern states, which are the biggest contributors to the overall brand sales.
Both launches have been supported by a marketing plan across different media.
While actor Zayed Khan is Mirinda Sorbet’s brand ambassador, Fanta roped in southern actor Trisha for its campaigns. Market watchers say that Fanta has a slight lead over Pepsi’s Mirinda in market share.