Coca-Cola planning R&D centre in India

The American beverage brand is looking to build India as one of its top three markets, James Quincey, the company’s chief executive, told Mint, an Indian financial daily

March 12, 2019

By 2020, India’s food and beverages sector is estimated to be worth nearly US$50 billion, on the back of growing consumer-targeted investments

To drive demand in India, Coca-Cola is focussing on sparkling beverages, fruit-based products and innovation, apart from boosting local bsuiness

Government of India is setting up many as 42 Mega Food Parks with an investment of around US$2.4 billion across the nation to drive capacity

Total consumption in India’s food and beverage industry is touted to rise from US$369 billion to US$1.1 trillion by 2025 with improving affordability

Global beverage brand Coca-Cola is planning to set up a research and development (R&D) centre in India, the company’s Chief Executive, James Quincey, said in a March 12 interview to Mint, an Indian financial daily. The move comes as part of Coca-Cola’s plan to develop India as one its top three markets, globally. To drive demand in India, the company is focussing on sparkling beverages, fruit-based products and innovation. Driven by improving affordability, India has come up as a sought-after destination for food and beverage companies. By 2020, India’s food and beverages sector is estimated to be worth nearly US$50 billion, on the back of growing consumer-targeted investments.

Mr Quincey told Mint that India was expected to become its fifth-largest market globally by end-2019, steadily growing thereafter. To support this growth, Coca-Cola is looking to strengthen its local business to crack into the untapped territories, especially with sparkling beverages. To entice the local crowd, the company is thinking about drinks around local fruits in India, apart from niche items around coffee and water. Coca-Cola’s rival, PepsiCo had recently committed to a US$2 billion investment in setting up a food and beverage plant in India. This was announced at the World Food India 2017 event, where investment worth more than US$11.3 billion was committed, including by Coca-Cola.

Government of India has extended special focus to the food processing sector, which besides offering lucrative investment opportunities, have sought to empower the farming community. Apart from end product manufacturing, sourcing of raw materials has also attracted foreign investment., As a result, as many as 42 Mega Food Parks with an investment of around US$2.4 billion, are beings et up across the nation. The projects come at a time when total consumption in India’s food and beverage industry is touted to increase from US$369 billion to US$1.1 trillion by 2025. Meanwhile, the output of the food processing sector is expected to increase to US$958 billion during the same period.

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