Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are stepping-up the production of low-sugar carbonated drinks this summer to meet the consumer demands on the healthier beverage front.
Commenting on the shift of consumer preferences and their step in order to meet the demands of consumers, one of the officials said, “We have never seen this kind of shortage of diet and low-sugar drinks. We are seeing this across markets in the country.”
The imported diet and low-sugar colas have flooded retail outlets in the shortage of the diet versions of Coke or Pepsi.
One of the spokespersons for the companies said, “Our differentiated portfolio follows the tastes and preferences of consumers and we will continue to meet the demand for low-tono sugar offerings in the country.”
The PepsiCo India spokesperson said, “We are seeing positive growth momentum across our beverage portfolio, including diet and low sugar drinks.”
Carbonated beverages account for 51 percent of the company’s sales in India. The cola makers launched the diet variants for almost all their brands like Coke, Pepsi, Thums Up and Sprite to hedge themselves as consumers began turning away from sugary drinks.
The consumer behaviour expert Devendra Chawla said, “New beverages like protein shakes, good-for-gut drinks and functional waters are increasingly making their presence felt in retail stores and which is leading the overall beverages category to grow faster. While startups excel at these good-for-you product launches, big brands must enter these categories and lead the trend, which calls for some risk-taking and innovation.”
The carbonated soft drinks (CSD) industry in India was pegged at Rs 25,000 crore in FY 2018 with an annual growth rate of 7 percent.