Coca-Cola India is weighing options of sourcing mangoes and a few other fruits from West Bengal for brands like Maaza, a company official has said. The company would soon make a decision on it, the official said. "We are exploring 2-3 fruits for sourcing from this state including mangoes and pineapples," Coca-Cola India and South West Asia president T Krishnakumar said. The company is holding dialogues with the horticulture department of the state for sourcing mangoes initially. "Currently, we do not source any fruit from Bengal. We are holding dialogues with the horticulture department.
In this summer season, some trial sourcing might be carried out for mango," Bengal Beverage-Dankuni managing director S R Goenka told PTI. Bengal Beverage-Dankuni is a bottler for Coca-Cola in West Bengal. Sources said that Coca-Cola may also test market Maaza by mixing Bengal varieties of mangoes. The state produces several mango varieties including 'Himsagar' and 'Langra'. West Bengal's average mango production is around 700,000 tonnes. In a bumper year, it has even touched 1 million tonnes in the past. Setting up of a processing unit through partners may come up later as it will require a certain level of volume, they said. Coca-Cola has embarked on enhancing the existing portfolio of juices with fruits that are locally grown in various regions of India. The initiative is aimed at becoming a complete beverage company. Coca-Cola India expects its mango fruit drink Maaza to become a $1 billion brand by 2023. Coca-Cola, along with its bottling partners in India, presently procures around 100,000 metric tonnes of mango pulp annually. This may double to 200,000 metric tonnes, worth nearly Rs 11 billion, and help 100,000 farmers by 2023, the company officials had said earlier.