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Coca-Cola, Himjal Tie Up For Bottling Kinley Water

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India has entered into a strategic tie-up with Himjal Beverages of the Mittals of Kolkata, to bottle and co-pack its Kinley pure drinking water.

Himjal Beverages is setting up a state-of-the-art greenfield plant for the purpose at Pasha Mylaram, 36 km from Hyderabad. The plant will have a capacity to bottle 60 bottles per minute, with provision to scale it up to 120 bottles per minute.

The plant will roll out six lakh cases per day on a single shift basis in three size categories -- two litres, one litre and 500 ml.

In addition to the bottles, Kinley drinking water in bulk packs of 25 litre jars will also be packed in the new plant at the rate of 2,000 jars per day with provision to double the capacity to 4,000 jars a day.

Currently, Kinley drinking water is being contract-packed by Kothari Beverages' unit in Hyderabad, and Sarvaraya Sugars, a franchise of Coca-Cola in Sattupalli of Khammam district.

A Coca-Cola source said here today that once the Himjal plant goes on stream, Kinley will have a dominant role in the drinking water segment in Andhra Pradesh. When Coca-Cola entered the pure water segment in Andhra Pradesh a year-and-half ago, 80 per cent of the then mineral water segment was in the hands of rival Bisleri of Ramesh Chauhan.

The source claimed that in the past 18 months, Kinley has been able to capture 40.8 per cent of the pure drinking water segment in Andhra Pradesh, reducing Bisleri's market share to just 38 per cent.

According to the source, Andhra Pradesh is "a very important market" for Coca-Cola India as the company's largest chunk of investment -- 20 per cent of its total Rs 3,600 crore investment in the country-- is in the state. Coca-Cola has four large state-of-the-art bottling plants for its soft drinks here and an equal number of major franchisees.

Andhra Pradesh also accounts for the highest consumption of Kinley soda, which was first test-marketed in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad before the formal launch by Coca-Cola on the expiry of its agreement with Parle for Bisleri soda water.

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