Coca-Cola To Produce reduced sugar products This Year

Last year, the US-based beverages giant said it would reduce sugar content in more than 500 products around the world and introduce more low-sugar variants.
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Beverages major Coca cola is planning to try low sugar content drinks and diet variants of existing brands across its portfolio in its local outlet here by the end of this year.

Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia president T Krishnakumar said this move is in line with the company’s global commitments.

Last year, the US-based beverages giant said it would reduce sugar content in more than 500 products around the world and introduce more low-sugar variants.

Krishnakumar said the Indian unit grew by high double digits in revenue and high single digit in volumes in the October-December quarter.

He said, “An expanded portfolio, higher investments in marketing on both carbonated drinks and juices, and better bottling execution have worked for us. We have seen two sequential quarters of good growth. The company was equally focused on driving revenue as well as volume.”

The company, which follows a January-December financial year, however, did not specify its India numbers. Most consumer-facing companies in India have posted higher-than-average volume growth in the October-December quarter, on account of the base effect as demonetisation had hit the year-ago performance.

Krishnakumar said, “While lemon drink Sprite, remains the biggest brand for Coca-Cola India, followed closely by Thums Up, both Thums Up and Minute Maid juices posted “healthy” growth in the quarter, he said. The sparkling category has retained its relevance, and has grown almost at the same levels as overall growth.” More variants of Thums Up could be launched this year he added.

The key categories where the company will invest this year are sparkling, juices and hydration, he said. The company is also looking for opportunities in tea and dairy.

Coca-Cola also has the plans to add frozen fruit-based deserts in the coming season, and aims to introduce variants of its aerated brands with juice content.

Krishnakumar said, “Coca-Cola will maintain prices as India is a “value-driven market. On the consumption outlook for the next two quarters, we expect growth to remain positive, in both urban and rural markets. We have a better understanding of what the consumer is looking for, and have a strong portfolio of products and packaging for rural consumers.”

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