Global fast-food chains spice up cola war in India

  • Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 03, 2015 00:07 IST

The world’s top budger chains — Burger King, Fatburger, Johnny Rockets, Carls Jr and Wendy’s — which recently entered the Indian market, are adding fuel to the great cola war in their search for ‘national beverage partners’.

While Coca-Cola and Pepsi were neck-and-neck initially, Coca-Cola ended marginally ahead by wrapping up the latest deal of American burger chain Carl’s Jr, which will enter India in a few weeks from now.

Coca-Cola has struck a deal to be the ‘national beverage partner’ of Carl’s Jr, after vying with Pepsi for about a year to bag the contract.

“At Carls, the beverage consumption can contribute to anything between 8-15% of total sales,” said Sana Chopra, executive director, Carl’s Jr India, told HT. “We need at least 400-500 litres of dispensing capacity per day, and Coca-Cola agreed to gear up for even more numbers”.

The Carl’s Jr deal puts Coca-Cola a notch above Pepsi with three contracts (Wendy’s, Fatburger, Carls Jr). Pepsi has bagged the the other two (Burger King and Johnny Rockets).

Beverage accounts for about 30% of fast-food companies’ sales, according to industry estimates.

Pepsi also serves players, including KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Papa Johns, Costa Coffee, whereas Coke is the official beverage partner of Mcdonalds, Subway, Dominoes and Hard Rock Café. “We are the preferred beverage partners of large brands... and value the trust they repose in us,” a Coca Cola India spokesperson said.

“Besides QSR, we also partner with PVR Cinemas, Air Asia and Delhi International Airport Ltd,” said Sudipto Mozumdar, senior director, customer development at PepsiCo India.

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