labels: advertising/branding
Fanta turns green as Mirinda goes brownnews
Venkatachari Jagannathan
06 July 2001

Recently, Pepsico India and Hindustan Coco Cola, the makers of Mirinda and Fanta orange-flavoured drinks dipped their hands into their global flavour repository and launched new flavours. Both the companies chose to leverage their existing brands – Mirinda in the case of Pepsico and Fanta in the case of Hindustan Coco Cola.

While Pepsico India introduced Mirinda brown apple, Coca Cola on its part launched Fanta water melon and Fanta green apple flavours. Further, both the companies have plans to expand their product range in the segment.

But why have the two cola giants suddenly fallen in love with fruit flavours, a market that is around Rs 200 crore in size? Interestingly, both the companies launched their new drinks in south India.

Responds Amit Jain, region operations director, Hindustan Coca Cola, "Last year, we relaunched Fanta and the product registered an impressive growth of 30 per cent. Further, the southern market is skewed towards flavoured drinks."

The other reason is the heat that is being turned on against the cola giants by ‘swadeshi' preachers who favour fresh fruit juice/tender coconut to fizz drinks. As a matter of fact, Kerala witnessed an agitation to protect coconut farmers and the public started patronising tender coconuts instead of artificially flavoured drinks like colas.

Agreeing with it, Mr Jain cites Hindustan Coca Cola's experience. The company's cola sales in Kerala are not good despite acquiring a new bottling plant there. According to him, the company tested flavours like grape, peach, brown apple, strawberry, etc., and finally zeroed in on green apple and watermelon flavours.

Will there be more offerings? "We will concretise our plans in three months time," he answers. According to him, the company plans to sell around 45,000 cases of fruit-flavoured drinks during the first year of operations.

Speaking about promotions, he says the company will follow its existing strategy of using all the media to reach people while retaining Fanta’s fun proposition. However, the company will not be contracting any film stars to promote its new flavours.

Pricing is a strategy in the battle of bottles between these two cola majors. Hindustan Coco Cola offers its water melon and green apple drinks in 300 ml glass bottles at Rs 8.50 per bottle while Mirinda Apple is available in 200 ml bottle at Rs 6 per bottle. Pepsico India also plans to offer Mirinda Apple in 300-ml glass and 500 ml PET bottles.

What will be interesting to note is the reaction of customers as fresh fruit juice/tender coconut is available for a similar or lesser price. Happy marketing or ‘Appy’ marketing is what we should say?

 


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Fanta turns green as Mirinda goes brown