Crafting new beverages requires far more resources than when Dr. John Pemberton concocted the first batch of Coca-Cola. The new product puzzle includes trans-continental R&D facilities, a swath of specialists, months of market research, and much more.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is the desire to satisfy consumers’ tastes and expectations for something new, wherever they may be in the world.
Coca-Cola’s newest product in India, VIO, is the latest example of how the global company champions local flavor.
VIO flavored milk was developed specifically for the Indian palate at Coca-Cola India’s R&D center in Gurgaon with input from the R&D teams in Atlanta and Shanghai. Made from milk sourced by dairy farmers, VIO has been formulated with a blend of saffron, pistachio and almond flavors in the respective Kesar Treat and Almond Delight variants.
“VIO flavored milk, which has been jointly developed in collaboration with our largest bottling partner, BIG India, adds to our ‘Made in India, Made for India’ range of beverage innovations,” said Venkatesh Kini, president, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia.
Staying agile in the bustling beverage marketplace means listening to and staying ahead of consumer tastes. In many markets, including India, that means launching new products while continuing to offer traditional, go-to favorites like Coca-Cola, Maaza, Minute Maid juice drinks and Kinley Water.
“VIO aims to establish new consumption occasions for the consumers, over and above the standard in-home consumption,” said Debabrata Mukherjee, vice president, marketing and commercial, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia. “The product is packed with milk power and targeted for consumers on the go.”
Coca-Cola’s ability to develop locally relevant products goes beyond consumer research and R&D. Driving scalability, efficiency and quality is something Coca-Cola constantly strives for, as demonstrated by the VIO launch.
“This product not only promises long-term business growth, but also leverages our system’s value chain in procuring ingredients and raw materials from the dairy farming community,” Kini added. “We look forward to the consumers’ feedback, which will help us decide on scaling this pilot launch further.”
The company’s entry into dairy will lay the foundation for the India business’ next growth pillar after sparkling, water and juices. The introduction of VIO follows the launch of FUZE iced tea in 30 cities in 2015 and Coke Zero in late 2014. As part of the phased pilot launch, VIO flavored milk will first be made available in the top metropolitan areas across India through modern trade outlets and eCommerce platforms before eventually expanding to traditional trade.
“Dairy is a category firmly rooted in Indian tradition and enjoyed greatly by consumers,” said T. Krishnakumar, CEO, BIG India. “As we venture into this important segment, our intent is to make VIO easily accessible to the consumer.”
Coca-Cola has continued to invest in the value-added dairy category around the world with products like fairlife in the United States, Toni and Santa Clara in Latin America, and Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky in Asia. Dairy-based drinks tailored to specific markets – like VIO in India – complement The Coca-Cola Company’s portfolio of still and sparkling beverages, designed for every occasion and lifestyle.
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