Citra to tingle taste buds again

MUMBAI: Coca-Cola India is in process to revive the clear-lime drink brand Citra in India and has already deployed it in its pilot run. The brand was among those, which were bought from Ramesh Chauhan by the company two decades ago.

Confirming the development to Coca-Cola general manager - public affairs Kamal Sharma said, "We have launched the pilot of the drink in around 2000 outlets in Gujarat and depending on the feedback, we will launch the drink at other places."

The pricing and brand identity of the relaunched Citra will also be decided after the feedback from the Gujarat pilot run. There are estimates that the drink may be priced around 20 per cent cheaper than existing lime-lemon drinks such as its own brands Sprite and Limca as well as PepsiCo‘s Mountain Dew and 7 Up.

Today, the fizzy drinks industry in the country stands at an estimated Rs 130 billion. When Coca-Cola re-entered India in 1993 it bought out all Parle brands except Bisleri from Chauhan.

While Citra and Gold Spot were discontinued in order to make room for Coca-Cola‘s global brands Sprite and Fanta, brands like Thums Up, Limca and Maaza were retained. In fact Thums Up was considered sidelined for a while, till Coca-Cola woke up to the potential of the Indian brand.

Reports suggest that India‘s per capita consumption of carbonated drinks is 11 litres a year as compared to 34 litres in China and 675 litres in Mexico. The lime-lemon category in India has been growing 16-17 per cent a year while colas are growing at about 11-12 per cent and orange drinks at 8-9 per cent.

Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been promoting their brands aggressively in this segment. While PepsiCo has Salman Khan as endorser for Mountain Dew and Sharman Joshi for 7 Up, Coca-Cola pushes clear-lime drink Sprite and cloudy lemon drink Limca on the irreverent and freshness platforms respectively.

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