Coca-Cola India Stirs Tea Potion
The Telegraph
January 12, 2007

Calcutta: Coca-Cola India is examining wellness options like Ayurveda to introduce its tea-based drink in the country. This comes at a time when Tata Tea has launched green tea bags under the Tetley brand and is considering introducing ready-to-drink beverages.

Coca-Cola has various tea-based drinks in Southeast Asia, including the popular brand of green tea in China called ShinZen.

"We are examining the market closely before launching our products. We are also considering tea-based ready-to-drink beverages. We would like to conduct more research on the wellness aspect of tea before introducing any of our international brands," a company official said.

Coca-Cola India, which is one of the largest exporters of green coffee, is in touch with the Tea Board.

"We do not want to go wrong as tea-based beverage in India has to be handled carefully. Distribution channels are critical. We need to understand the market to determine whether to serve the beverage in cans, glass bottles, PET bottles or tetra packs," the official said.

"The tea-based drink for India would also be designed keeping in mind local tastes and preferences," the official added.

The company, which will launch its Minute Maid brand of juices (initially orange juice) this year, would also look at introducing fortified drinks (beverages with components to suit different segments) in future.

The Tea Board is also planning a campaign to promote iced tea and ready-to-drink varieties.

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