VIO Aims to Establish New Consumption Occasions: Coca-Cola’s Abhishek Jugran

Coca-Cola India, one of the top beverage companies in the country, forayed into the ready-to-drink, flavoured milk category with the launch of VIO in January-end, this year. While it was a pilot launch, the brand is now going all out to promote the new product. It recently launched an ad campaign, ‘Run With It’, featuring Bollywood actor Prateik Babbar.

The concept of the ad revolved around leveraging VIO’s ‘Real Milk. Real Protein.’ benefit to enable today’s fast-paced, multi-tasking youth to ‘Run With It’ and lead an active lifestyle. It was conceptualized by Swapan Seth of Equus Films.

After six months of launch of the brand, VIO, AdAge India caught up with Abhishek Jugran, Director – Liquid Foods, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia to know about the performance of the product so far, reason why it was launched in the first place and plans ahead.


Q. What was the research done by Coca-Cola before launching VIO in India? What motivated Coca Cola to launch in flavored-milk category?

India consumes roughly similar proportion of dairy products like the rest of the world – distinct from other beverages where Indian consumption is significantly lower than the global average. Most of this is, however, pure milk. Note that value-added dairy is currently under 1% of the total milk consumption in the country.

There has been a growing demand for value added dairy products (VADPs) in India and launching a diary product has been our focus for some time. This formulation for VIO has been locally developed by the R&D centre at Gurgaon (now Gurugram), with inputs from Labs in Atlanta. There is no infusion of carbonated water and is primarily milk-based preparation.

Q. It’s been around six months since VIO launched. How has it been performing?
It is early days. The result of the pilot launch has been encouraging but it will take us some time to establish our presence in this new space.

Q. Any feedback from the consumers that you would like to share?

Consumer feedback in the last few months has given us the confidence to launch mass market campaign in parts of the country.

Q. The market already has players like Amul and Danone? What makes VIO stand out?

VIO aims to establish new consumption occasions for the consumers, over and above the standard in-home consumption. The product is packed with Milk Power and targeted for on-the-go consumers. It ensures that we cater to the target consumers’ preference for products that offer functional benefits, and yet are differentiated. We have put in a new dimension to the traditional beverage right from the brand name, VIO – an easy to pronounce, disyllabic word that is contemporary and aspirational, along with a refined and attractive Visual Identity System.

Q. What is the size of the flavored milk category?

The Global Flavored Milk industry is at a nascent stage as the consumption is still low as compared to other drinks such as carbonated soft drinks. At this juncture, the Packaged RTD Flavored Milk market in India is roughly 27 MM UC and Flavored Milk as a category has seen growth of 10% overall in volume terms from 2014 vs 2013, as per a Tetrapak report. It is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 20% during 2015-2020.

Q. Who is the TG?
Any young soul leading a fast paced, multi-tasking but active lifestyle is our TG.


Q. You have just launched a campaign. What kind of investments are you planning to make to promote VIO?

We have recently launched VIO’s maiden ad campaign ‘Run With It’, which aims to build a deeper connect with the consumers and urges them to:

‘Believe’- in the power of milk protein inherent in VIO, ‘Feel’ – that the power when unleashed will help them lead an active, healthy life ‘Do’- switch to VIO and activate a healthy lifestyle in their everyday moments.

Through the ‘Run With It’ campaign, we aim to build higher brand recall and awareness about VIO through TV, print and digital platforms. The 360 degree campaign leverages mass media on larger than life OOH sites in Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. OOH billboards and hoardings for VIO live across 100+ sites in AP and Maharashtra over May-June had been planned along with an extensive 3-week campaign across AP and Maharashtra in June.

The campaigns also has a 360-degree 12-week campaign across all social media platforms (FB, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) from June through August. TVC would also be a simultaneous launch across digital platforms when it goes on air in AP, along with presence on radio and print.