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Coca Cola to enter dairy drinks segment in India, roll out Vio brand
Tuesday, 26/01/2016

MUMBAI: As reported earlier in ET, Coca-Cola is set to roll out its Vio brand in India. While Vio exists globally as a carbonated milk drink with unusual flavours like Citrus Burst and Peach Mango, it marks Coca-Cola India's first concerted foray into value-added dairy, with fairly standardised variants: almond and kesar. The dairy category is estimated to be worth Rs 75,000-crore, with milk contributing Rs 50,000 crore.

Coke has dabbled with dairy via mango drink Maaza Milky Delite, but according to its president, India and South West Asia, Venaktesh Kini, "It was a pilot. We learnt that Indian consumers expect a rich and creamy product with the taste and flavour of milk."

Coke has gone the tetrapak route for Vio, which will be sold via modern trade outlets, aiming to cover 65 per cent of the country in the initial phase.

The launch is led by T Krishnakumar, regional director - South Asia, bottling investments group, Coca-Cola's leading bottler in the country, who considers it an attempt to leverage India's strengths. India consumes 46 per cent of dairy products similar to 55 per cent the world over; distinct from other beverages where Indian consumption is significantly lower than the global average. Most of this is, however, pure milk; value-added dairy is currently under 1 per cent of total produce. Krishnakumar says, "This is a great opportunity rooted in Indianness, converting dairy to value-added dairy and improving the value chain of that business."

Vio is manufactured by Schreiber Dynamix Dairies as Coke builds capabilities. This helped accelerate the launch, which took less than a year from concept to product. Says Kini, "We will look for partnerships. Our strength is in branding, packaging and distribution; not in the business of managing cows."

Coke hopes these strengths will help it make a mark in a category where the rate of failure is high and has seen Britannia and Nestle go back to the drawing board.


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