Canadian Manufacturing

Coca-Cola pouring another $3 billion into India



NEW YORK—The Coca-Cola Co. announced another $3-billion investment in India over the next eight years as it looks to boost its stake in the rapidly growing market.

The new cash infusion brings Coca-Cola’s total planned investment in India to $5 billion between 2012 and 2020. That’s on top of the more than $2 billion it invested since re-entering the country in 1993.

The world’s biggest beverage maker, which owns Minute Maid, Dasani and Powerade, has seen some of its biggest gains come from emerging markets as growth at home has slowed.

In April, Coca-Cola said its first-quarter volume in India rose 20 per cent, compared with a two per cent increase in North America.

The Atlanta-based company had left India in 1977 to avoid handing control over to its Indian subsidiary and revealing its secret formula.

Globally, Coca-Cola’s market share of carbonated soft drinks is 52 per cent, versus 21.4 per cent for PepsiCo Inc., according to Beverage Digest, an industry tracker.

In India, however, the gap is smaller: Coca-Cola has 56 per cent of the market versus PepsiCo’s 40 per cent.

Coca-Cola said that its Thums Up—a spicier local soda it acquired in 1993—and Sprite are the top selling soft drink brands in India, while its Maaza is the top-selling juice. Coca-Cola said its namesake soda also grew 27 per cent in the first quarter.

Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent said that the company’s growth in India is part of its plan to double revenue over this decade.

Coca-Cola and its bottling partners are investing more than $30 billion globally over the next five years—including new manufacturing plants, new distribution systems and new marketing in emerging markets—to support expected growth.

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