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Business News/ Companies / News/  Reliance teams up with Muttiah Muralitharan’s Ceylon Beverage

Reliance Consumer Products Ltd has signed up former cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan’s Ceylon Beverage International as the contract packaging partner for the Campa Cola beverage brand’s canning operations.

The agreement may also grant Reliance Consumer distribution rights for Sri-Lanka based Ceylon Beverage’s energy drinks and juices in India, expanding its presence in the nation’s 67,000 crore beverage market, people familiar with the development said, requesting anonymity.

Ceylon Beverage may also establish a packaging facility in India to support the national expansion of the Campa brand; currently Campa cans rely on direct imports from its Sri Lankan factory, the people said.

Reliance Consumer already has partnerships with multiple Indian manufacturers and distributors for the Campa brand, including those with Tamil Nadu-based Asian Beverage and Kali Aerated Water Works.

Muralitharan is expected to become a “major" partner for Reliance Consumer’s beverage portfolio in India, people familiar with the development said. Ceylon Beverage’s energy brand Spinner and its juices will be retailed by Reliance Consumer in India as part of the deal, they said.

An e-mail sent to a Reliance spokesperson seeking comment remained unanswered.

Campa, initially launched in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, is preparing for a national rollout following its acquisition by Reliance Consumer from the Pure Drinks Group last year.

Ceylon Beverage, established in 2020, operates a Sri Lankan plant with a capacity to produce 300 million cans annually, fulfilling Campa’s canning needs for Reliance Consumer.

Muralitharan, a former cricket star and the world’s highest wicket-taker, also has family ties to the processed foods industry through Luckyland Biscuit Manufacturers in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Muralitharan has played the Indian Premier League (IPL) between 2008-2014 as part of Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Reliance Consumer has been strengthening its presence in the Indian beverage market, where market leaders Coca-Cola and PepsiCo hold sway. Its recent acquisitions include the beverage brand Raskik and a 50% stake in Sosyo Hajoori Beverages, which sells beverages under the Kashmira, Lemee, S’eau, Ginlim, Runner, Opener, and Hajoori Soda brands.

This move is in line with Reliance Consumer’s strategy to develop a substantial fast-moving consumer goods business, encompassing staples, home and personal care products, as well as packaged foods and beverages.

The Campa portfolio currently includes Campa Cola, Campa Lemon, and Campa Orange in the sparkling beverage category, with potential expansion into fruit-based drinks and energy drinks.

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Updated: 01 May 2023, 12:51 AM IST
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