Flavours clearly seem to be the focus area for Coca-Cola India this season. Even as the company prepares to introduce its juice brand Minute Maid this quarter, the cola major is also in the process of relaunching its orange drink Fanta in a stronger formulation.
To begin with, the new Fanta is being rolled out in southern markets of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The reformulated Fanta is expected to be introduced in the North and other markets later in the year.
This is the second time Coca-Cola is tweaking the formulation of Fanta since the time the brand was launched 12 years back in India. A similar exercise was carried out in 2003, when Fanta's formulation was made stronger which resulted in boosting sales by about 5-10% according to sources. Fanta's packaging was altered about two years back, when it was introduced in a spin bottle.
Consumer preferences are skewed towards fruit-based flavours in the South, which explains the decision to introduce the stronger Fanta in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and AP first. Tamil Nadu, for example, accounts for over 20% of Fanta's overall sales in the country. Just to recap, the company's earlier experiments with Fanta in water melon and green apple flavours did not work.
Over the past two years, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been promoting their orange and lime flavoured beverages aggressively, both of which have been posting faster growth rates than colas. Industry sales of the orange flavoured segment, for example, are estimated at over Rs 1,000-crore, with the overall carbonated soft drink market valued at Rs 6,000-crore. According to industry estimates, Fanta has a slight edge over rival PepsiCo's Mirinda in terms of market share.
In case of the lime segment, Coca-Cola's clear lime beverage, Sprite, is it's second highest-selling brand after Thums Up. Mainstay brand Coca-Cola trails at No 3 after Thums Up and Sprite. In fact, Sprite has been upstaging brand Coca-Cola for about two years now. "Through our diverse portfolio we are constantly evaluating options to refresh our consumers on an everyday, all-day basis," said a spokesperson.