03 Aug 2017 20:27 IST

Coke to extend Kinley to aerated beverages

Plans to explore ethnic flavours and offer consumers an affordable range

Coca-Cola India is extending its blockbuster water brand Kinley to a range of aerated beverages in three flavours – lemon, orange and a jeera-based flavour.

T. Krishnakumar, President, Coca-Cola India, says the company will start piloting these beverages in a few markets. “We will take up States like Orissa, rural parts of Andhra Pradesh and some parts of the North and East. Hopefully, the pilot should be rolling out in the next three to four weeks. The product is ready,” he says.

Refining the portfolio

Krishnakumar explains that the way the beverage business develops is when consumers move from water to packaged drinking water and then to the beverage of their choice. “We believe that the transition from regular water to bottled water to our premium beverages could need a step in the ladder. The distance between the two steps has widened. One of our most trusted brands in India is Kinley, which is one of the larger distributed brands for us,” he explains. The range of aerated beverages will be affordable to consumers who are making that transition.

“We will test and refine our portfolio as we go along and see what consumers say about the product,” adds Krishnakumar. “There are millions of consumers who drink Kinley water and for them to upgrade to a Kinley product will be quite easy. We felt familiarity with the brand is high and the movement will be pretty easy.”

Ethnic flavours

Coke India is also going to scale up its ethnic flavour offerings. Krishnakumar says the company has seen that regional players have leveraged consumer demand and grown different categories .

We have our offerings and we will scale up our whole approach. For instance, we have been piloting Rimzim, a spiced soda, for 8-10 months. It will be national by the end of the year. We are also now looking at other ethnic flavours which are really scaling up. We are seeing what we can do to offer good choices to the consumers and you will see us competing very effectively in the ethnic flavours space,” says the Coke India President.