New Delhi: Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd., the local entity of Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Company, is extending its ‘zero’ or low-calorie beverage portfolio to get itself in sync with changing preferences of Indian consumers who are becoming health conscious faster.

The world’s largest beverage maker on Monday said it will launch the ‘zero’ sugar variant of Thums Up Charged, an extension of the 40-year old Thums Up, nationwide this week. This will be the fourth ‘zero’ sugar carbonated beverage, and first Indian Cola brand to have ‘no sugar’ from Coca-Cola in India. It already sells Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite Zero in the country.

“Diet or zero sugar is a fast growing segment, especially across metro and top towns. We are closely watching the space, and may bring more ‘Zero’ variants of other aerated beverage brands in India," Vijay Parasuraman, vice president (marketing), Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said on Monday.

The ‘zero’ sugar variant of Thums Up Charged will be available in the metros and top cities, in modern trade and high value grocery stores as well as online.Mint had, on 26 July 2016, reported that Coca-Cola had plans to expand its ‘zero’ beverage offerings in India.

Coca-Cola first launched its flagship low calorie drink – Coca-Cola Zero or Coke Zero – in September 2014 and claimed to have sold 100,000 cans on online marketplace Amazon within the first two weeks of launch. Coke Zero had crossed Rs100 crore sales in first eight months in general trade, the company had claimed that time.

Besides, the products that the company has already launched in India, its global portfolio includes Fanta Zero.

Coca-Cola’s rival PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt Ltd, the local unit of American food and beverage maker PepsiCo Inc.’s ‘zero’ beverage portfolio includes Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Black.

Parasuraman said Coca-Cola has launched Thums Up Charged, the first extension of the brand, in Bangladesh last week. This is the first time the company has taken an Indian cola brand outside India. The American beverage maker acquired Thums Up from Ramesh Chauhan of Parle Group along with a few more aerated drinks brands in 1993.

“As we celebrate 40 years of brand Thums Up, this is the year for Thums Up Charged. We would look at taking Thums Up to other South West Asian countries as well," added Parasuraman. The company had, on 22 November 2017, said it aimed to cross $1 billion (about Rs6,500 crore) mark in sales of brand Thums Up in two years, from Rs5,000 crore that time.

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