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Aligned with 2020 vision, Coca Cola launches Zero

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MUMBAI: Continuing the expansion of the its product portfolio, the beverage giant Coca Cola India unveiled yet another strategic bet in its journey to achieve its 2020 vision, by launching Coca Cola Zero.

With its launch in the national capital, the Coca Cola Zero brand is now available in all the top six markets of the Coca-Cola Company, the others being USA, Mexico, China, Brazil and Japan.

The sugar free soft drink was launched by Farhan Akhtar, Olympian luger Shiva Keshavan, fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee and fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar.

In another first for the Company, the entire launch event was broadcast live on www.coca-colaindia.com and fans of Coca Cola Zero joined the launch conversation on twitter and facebook with the #cokezero.

Speaking at the launch Coca Cola India and south west Asia president Venkatesh Kini said, "As we move towards the halfway mark of the decade, it is important we add offerings to our portfolio even as we nurture the existing brands.” After October 5, Coca Cola Zero will be available across the top 100 towns in India in 180,000 outlets.

“Coca-Cola Zero comes at a time when Coca Cola classic has established itself and the new product therefore, complements the company’s sparkling portfolio,” he added.

Coca Cola India marketing VP Debabrata Mukherjee said, “To ensure that consumers get their first taste of Coca Cola Zero, we will be sampling more than 1.5 million packs of the product in the next four months. We also have a strong communication plan which includes digital media, television and print campaigns.”

The company sells a variety of both carbonated and non-carbonated drinks in India, including Coca Cola, Thums Up, Sprite, Maaza and Minute Maid.

The Coca Cola system is innovating with new channels to build preference and anticipation for the beverage prior to the national, on ground, roll out. Initially, the new product will be available on the growing online portal Amazon India as well as modern retail outlets, starting with the Reliance Retail chain. Besides, it would also be first made available to various partners like low cost carrier IndiGo, quick service restaurant chain Subway and INOX Leisure. Coca Cola’s own portal www.Coke2Home.com will also be listing Coca Cola Zero after 15 days of launch at Amazon.

Talking about Coca Cola’s latest innovation, INOX Leisure CEO Alok Tandon said,” The entire movie experience in multiplexes like INOX seems to have graduated to another level. The choice of snacks, beverage options, pre-screening and post screening experience has seen a sea change over the years.”

“I guess the one thing that has remained constant though, is Coca Cola as a part of the movie going experience. We are happy to know that consumers can now choose the zero sugar option also along with the regular Coca Cola,” he added.

Coca-Cola Zero is one of the $17 billion brands of The Coca Cola Company in revenue terms and is one of the fastest to this milestone. It was first launched in 2005 and is now available in 149 countries including India.

Elaborating on the product attributes, Mukherjee reckoned, “Coca Cola Zero is a part of our global Red-Silver-Black model on Coca Cola Trademark. It has done well in matured as well as emerging markets, across the globe. We expect that Coca Cola Zero will hit all the right notes with consumers in India.”

In 2012, Coca Cola, along with its partners, had announced to more than double investments in India to US $5 billion (about Rs 28,000 crore) by 2020.

Talking about their 2020 vision Kini said, “Atlanta-based beverages giant remained committed towards the US $5 billion investment in the country till 2020 and was happy to say that they were on track for the investment.”

Coca Cola Zero will be available in 300 ml slim cans, 400 ml PET bottles and 600 ml PET at the same price points as regular Coca Cola. For instance in Delhi, the MRP of a 300 ml can will be Rs 30 while that of a  600 ml PET will be Rs 35.

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