Sunday, February 06, 2011: 07:15:20 PM

Retail News

Big Cola enters soft drink market in India

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New entrant Big Cola invests in unit in Maharashtra, planning large scale media launch


The battle for cola dominance in India is all set to have a new contender with South America based Ajegroup launching a new cola drink, Big Cola. The company has already invested in a unit at Patalganga, Maharashtra and is planning to expand its base to Maharashtra and Gujarat before spreading to the rest of the country.

The company has already made waves by launching its 535 ml pet bottle at Rs 18 which is Rs 5 less than the pet bottles of the cola giants. Reports indicate that the company will also come out with 1.5 litre and 3 litre bottles in the days to come.
 
Prof. Ramaswamy Iyengar of Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research said in a statement over phone to a Retailing360 correspondent, “The F&B market in India is definitely open for new products. The tendency of the public is to try out new products and most of such products are aimed at the youth. With more money coming into the hands of the common man, especially the youth, new entrants in the Indian soft drink market is bound to get noticed. If the product is value for money, it is sure to thrive in the market. There is also a tendency of people to buy products that are high-priced initially. Though the market has been dominated by the larger international players for years, new entrants do have a scope of doing well in the Indian market due to its dynamic and emerging nature.”
 
Entry of new players
 
Independent market expert and director of Prasanti Properties, a real estate firm in Kolkata, Devdutta Basu says, “Entry of new players is difficult but not impossible. However, they have to come up with a product which is free of pesticides to counter the giants. On the other hand, soft drink makers have to cash in on the alternative segment of packaged drinking water. This segment has recorded heavy growth over the past 3-4 years.”
 
Presently Coca Cola and Pepsi dominate the Indian with the former owned Thums Up being the market leader with 15% share. Sprite and Pepsi follow closely with 14.7% and 13% of the share, respectively. Reports indicate that the new entrant has also allocated a whopping Rs 30-40 crore for the media launch. Experts feel the expense is necessary if the company plans to compete with the immense media and retail presence of the other two giants.
 
Tias Chakraborty

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