"Orange juice with real orange pulp", with this slogan Coca Cola on Monday launched its Minute Maid brand of orange juices for the first time in the country at Hyderabad.
Though Coca Cola India had in its portfolio the highly successful Maaza brand in the juices segment (which it obtained from the Chouhans), this is the first time the company is introducing some of the products from its own Minute Maid portfolio.
The drink, Minute Maid Pulpy Orange, which will be available in two sizes (400ml at Rs 25) and (one litre at Rs 60) is targeted at young adults in the 20-34 range, whose preferences are sifting from carbonated soft drinks to healthy fruit juices.
"This is for the young people who are on the lookout for a naturally refreshing juice drink. The focus initially would be to target young adults in key cities and then move to the rest of the country," VP Marketing Coca Cola India Venkatesh Kini said.
Initially the product would be available in three southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Within two months time, the Minute Maid orange drink would be available in 25000 stores which include grocery stores, eating and drinking outlets at supermarkets in these three states, said CEO of Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages John Ustas.
As part of consumer sampling the company wants to retail 5.5 lakh cases in the next thirty days in these three states so that consumers get to taste the products and find its goodness. The orange pulp for the product was being imported from Florida.
Why Coca Cola chose south for such a major product launch? Kini said that the research showed that there was a huge market in the South for fruit juices. Secondly the company had its manufacturing facility at Chitoor in Andhra Pradesh, close to the market.
Kini ruled out that the Minute Maid orange drink would cannibalise Maaza, its top selling brand in the juice segment, which is also produced at Chitoor plant. "It will complement Maaza, not cannibalise it," he asserted.
He said that the Minute Maid Pulpy Orange has become a runway success in China, where it was launched in 2004. He hoped a repeat of the same in India would strengthen Coca Cola's leadership in the Indian juice drink category.