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Pepsi slashes prices of 300 ml bottles

NEW DELHI: Come summer and the soft drinks market in India is all geared for another round of price war. But this time, unlike in the past, Pepsi has fired the first salvo.

Heralding the cut-throat summer competition in soft drinks, Pepsi said on Tuesday, 15 April 2003, that it has slashed prices of its 300 ml returnable glass bottles to Rs 6 in the city and this price cut may be extended to other markets to make its brands more affordable, according to a PTI report..

However, the only other soft drinks company, Coca-Cola, appears to have been caught on the wrong foot, with its 300 ml pack still priced at Rs 8.

India is the only market where Pepsi gives some stiff competition to Coca-Cola. In most global markets Coca -Cola is way ahead of Pepsi.

Coca-Cola India vice-president (external) Sunil Gupta was quoted in the PTI report as saying, "We're making no fresh comments on our pricing strategy. Right now, our 300 ml pack continues to be priced at Rs 8."

The fresh price war, triggered by Pepsi, follows an earlier onslaught when both the companies reduced prices by about 20 per cent across the board just before the Union Budget for 2003-04 provided them excise duty relief.

A Pepsi spokesperson said, "In a high-consumption market such as Delhi going into the summer, aggressive price points devolving from the 300-ml segment will work much better. Our price strategy for this market, therefore, works off this thinking. As a consequence to this, 200-ml bottles are also priced at Rs 5. The new price points are 300 ml at Rs 6, and 200 ml at Rs 5."

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