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Coca-Cola bets on desi fizz, to take Rimzim across the country

Ethnic drinks market is worth Rs 150 cr a year today, and could reach Rs 500 cr in next 3-4 years

Viveat Susan Pinto  |  Mumbai 

Coca Cola, Coke

The country's largest beverage maker, Coca-Cola, wants to be in every evolving drinks category, says T Krishnakumar, its president for India and Southwest Asia. As part of which, it will be taking Rimzim, available in the north, across India.

"We found an opportunity in ethnic sparkling drinks. We have Rimzim, which is now slowly getting across the country," he said. "We are wiring ourselves as an organisation to keep close to the ground in terms of trends that are cropping up, irrespective of the category."

As a category, is a niche one, pegged at around Rs 150 crore in yearly size, say experts. The category is expected to grow over three times in the next three to four years to Rs 500 crore as consumers opt for unique flavours.

In recent years, and have also stepped into the space, with brands such as Duke's and has also taken its juice brand into categories such as coconut water, to tap into the market. And, brands such as and from and Nilgai Foods, respectively, have made inroads into this segment.

was part of cola king Ramesh Chauhan's carbonated drinks portfolio and sold to in the 1990s, with brands such as Thums Up, Maaza, and While Thums Up, and were subsequently pushed aggressively by Coke, remained inactive. Then, in 2012, it was relaunched as a market for began to emerge.

Industry sources say new flavours under could be introduced as the brand is taken acoss the country. Hector have nearly 15 different flavours under as it looks to scale up aggressively. "In ethnic drinks, what counts are flavours, since that is what will draw consumers to the product," says Harish Bijoor, head of Harish Bijoor Consults.

Dabur's has also been aggressive with variants, rolling out six different flavours -- aam panna, nimbu shikanji, jaljeera, kala khatta and so on.

First Published: Fri, June 09 2017. 00:24 IST