Coca Cola looking to tap coconut water market in India

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You could soon be sipping on coconut water branded under the Coca Cola name. With fizzy drinks facing numerous health allegations, companies are keen to explore other alternatives. According to sources, the company is looking to launch packaged coconut water in the country, with trials currently underway.

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Coca Cola will aim to capitalise on the growing market for healthy drinks by tapping into coconut water.

This packaged coconut water will be under the Zico brand, which Coke acquired in 2013. Coca Cola is testing the product in two local markets, completely importing it for now. Set up in 2004, Zico offers three products in the international market.

Coca Cola offers over 20 products in India, with fuzzy drinks accounting for over 60% of overall sales. The company has 13 licensed bottling partners, directly employing over 25,000 individuals. Popular names under the brand include Thums Up, Sprite, Limca and Fanta, in addition to the popular Coca Cola drink.

In addition to aerated drinks, it also offers non-aerated alternatives like Minute Maid and Maaza. It also manufactures bottled drinking water under the Aquarius and Kinley name.

Acquisition of Zico gives it an advantage in a market which is looking down at non-healthy drinks. The packaged coconut water market in India is still in its nascent state, with a number of companies keen on making a mark.

CavinKare recently invested Rs.60 crore to set up a plant to process and package coconut water in Erode. Prices range between Rs.30 and Rs.145 for 200ml and 1 litre of this product in the market.

Coca Cola has been facing issues in the country, with trade associations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu protesting against the company for depleting local water supplies. Retailers in these state have stopped selling their products following this protest.

The company would look at Zico to change perspectives and aim to capture this market.

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