Coca-Cola to go the ‘healthy’ way, may launch coconut water


NEW DELHI: Coca-Cola is preparing to launch packaged coconut water in India, as increasing consumer preference towards non-sugary drinks take the fizz out of cola sales.

In India, Coke is test marketing Zico, a US coconut water brand it acquired in late 2013. Packaged coconut water is one of the fastest growing beverage categories in the world and the 2013 deal has given the company the top position in the segment. Positioned as a ‘natural replenishment’, brand Zico has been gaining traction in world markets, information posted on its website said.

Coke is importing the product and testing it in at least two Indian markets, two trade officials directly aware of the matter said. “Though brands such as these are niche, Coca-Cola has to prepare the decks and hedge bets, as the backlash on cola consumption and health activism is gaining ground in the country,” one of them said.

In India, Coke and rival PepsiCo are facing more troubles. Some trader associations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala said their members would not sell the soft drinks made by the two companies, which they accuse were drawing too much groundwater and depleting the water resources in the states facing a severe drought.