By Rohit Vaid
With competition expected to heat up this summer after the relaunch of Campa Cola at cheaper price points, beverages major Coca-Cola India said it has maintained price points of entry-level packs but plans to offer more size options in the future.
According to a senior Coke executive, the beverage sector is seeing strong momentum in India, and the company would bring in more packaging size options and price points to suit the needs of consumers.
While media reports said Coca-Cola reduced the prices of some of its lowest stock-keeping units by Rs 5 in Telangana, Maharshtra and Madhya Pradesh, the Coke executive said the beverages major has broadly kept the same prices since last year on all of its entry packs. This is at variance with market expectations that the cola major would go in for price cuts to counter Campa Cola.
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“We follow a ‘Brand Pack Price Channel’ architecture in all pricing decisions,” the executive said.
At present, Coca-Cola’s entry-level pack is priced at Rs 20 for 250 ml polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle, compared to Campa (200ml PET bottle) priced at Rs 10.
Last week, Reliance Consumer Products (RCPL) launched the Campa portfolio — Campa Cola, Campa Lemon and Campa Orange – in five pack sizes ranging from 200 to 2,000 ml.
These pack sizes are present primarily in select key channels in most parts of India and in general trade in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
“The launch of this brand is in line with the company’s strategy to promote homegrown Indian brands that not only have a rich heritage but also boast a deep-rooted connect with Indian consumers due to their unique tastes and flavours,” Reliance Consumer Products, the owner of Campa Cola, had said in a statement.
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Campa Cola was popular in the 1970s and 80s before fizzling out when Coca-Cola and Pepsico started their domination.
Downplaying the competition posed by Campa, the executive said entry of new players in the segment presents a great opportunity for market development, leading to innovations. and ultimately, the consumers benefit.
While consumers would no doubt benefit, not everybody in the consumer beverages ecosystem is happy about what they call a looming price war. Distributors say a price war is inevitable and the competition between large companies leading to discounts and promotions will hurt the margins of hundreds of thousands of distributors.