Home / Companies / News /  Coca-Cola to launch premium water brand Smartwater in India

New Delhi: Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd, the local unit of American beverages maker Coca-Cola Co., is planning to launch its global enhanced water brand Glacéau Smartwater in India next month. Glacéau Smartwater is vapour-distilled water with electrolytes added for taste.

Glacéau Smartwater, which is sold as a premium product globally and a popular bottled water brand in the US, will be the fourth water brand to be launched by Coca-Cola in India. The company entered the bottled water market in India with the launch of Kinley in 2000. It extended the water portfolio in May 2016 with Bonaqua, followed by active hydration beverage brand Aquarius in December 2016.

“We are bringing Glacéau Smartwater to India by 15 December," said T. Krishnakumar, president (India and south-west Asia), Coca-Cola.

The packaged drinking water market in India was estimated at Rs7,040 crore in 2016 and is projected to reach Rs15,080 crore in 2021, according to research firm Euromonitor International.

Bisleri, a brand owned by Mumbai-based businessman Ramesh Chauhan’s Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd, leads the bottled water market with an estimated 24% value share. Other key brands include Aquafina, marketed by American food and beverages company PepsiCo Inc.

There are 5,842 registered water packaging units in the country.

Meanwhile, to enhance its portfolio of non-carbonated beverages, Coca-Cola is extending Maaza, the mango drink that has emerged as the largest beverage brand in India with annual sales of more than $450 million, into two premium variants—Maaza Gold and Maaza Refresh. The company aims to increase Maaza sales to $1 billion by 2023.

Extensions of Maaza are also part of the company’s strategy to use more Indian fruits in its beverages.

The company started mixing fruit content with some of its carbonated beverages in 2015.

In India, non-carbonated beverages make up for about 35-40% of Coca-Cola’s annual revenue.

Besides, it has also firmed up plans to enter the frozen desserts segments with whipped frozen fruit snacks under a new brand Minute Maid Perfect.

The frozen desserts under Minute Maid Perfect Fruit will be available in two flavours – mango and litchi this month.

“We have been test-marketing this product in Bengaluru for some time. This is a fruit product and not dairy. We’ll now launch this across 10 cities. It will be priced at 100 a cup, and we may have a smaller cup at 50 as well," Krishnakumar said.

The ice cream and frozen desserts market in India is projected to grow at an annual rate of 11% between 2016 and 2021 to reach 17,000 crore, according to a December 2016 study by Euromonitor International.

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