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Coke to take India model for hot beverages abroad

20-January-2005
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Coke to take India model for hot beverages abroad

Enthused by the success of its tea and coffee business in India, Coca-Cola has decided to export the business model to several other countries.

The Indian team is slated to help launch Georgia Gold in Bahrain and is also supporting the test market and launch plans in Egypt and South Africa.

Besides, store trials for tea and coffee under the same model are being conducted in Australia, the US, South Pacific Islands and Hong Kong among other countries.

It was in 2002, during a tour of the country's interiors and an encounter with the everyday cup of tea being shared by two people that spurred Coca-Cola India to think of entering the large, untapped tea and coffee market.

Today, the company claims to have developed India as a `Centre of Excellence' for this business - where for the first time anywhere in the world Coke has partnered with McDonald's for beverages.

Coke entered the non-carbonated soft drink (non-CSD) beverage business with the launch of Georgia Gold, selling it initially in Delhi and Mumbai. The brand is now available at all McDonald's outlets across the country.

And, after the hot beverage portfolio did well, the company entered the ice-tea and cold coffee market with Georgia brand last year, again in association with McDonald's.

A company spokesperson told Business Line: "Our Indian team has indeed been at the forefront of this innovation drive and the Georgia model developed here was the first time anywhere in the world that such a partnership with McDonald's was executed. The model has proved to be big success and we sold a million cases in 2004."

Besides tea and coffee, Coke's non-CSD portfolio also comprises powder soft drink concentrate Sunfill, bottled water brand Kinley and fruit-based drink Maaza.

The non-CSD business accounts for only about 15 per cent of Coke's total business in the country at present.

But since then it has been growing in double digits, unlike the CSD business, and it could well be the company's future growth driver.

The spokesperson said that Indian operations have also helped other markets with the creative work in communicating the lower price point strategy by replicating the Paanch matlab Chhota Coke theme in Indonesia and China, among other countries.

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