Coca-Cola India has entered the value-added dairy segment with its flavoured milk product Vio. It believes this will be the next growth pillar for the company after sparkling drinks, water and juices.

Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said that this was a strategic move as the dairy segment offers a huge opportunity considering that India’s average per capita consumption of milk is high and comparable to global averages.

He said the company’s move is focused on tapping into the demand for value-added dairy products in the country, which is still a small segment of the overall dairy category. He said that the Vio flavoured milk has been developed specifically for the Indian palette at Coca-Cola India’s R&D centre in Gurgaon with inputs from the R&D centres in Atlanta and Shanghai.

‘Cool and youthful’

The company hopes to bring excitement to the flavoured milk category by positioning it as ‘cool and youthful’ instead of it being a kids’ drink. Vio will be officially launched in the first week of February across modern trade retail stores in the country.

It will be available in two flavours — Kesar Treat and Almond Delight — and is priced at ₹25 for a 200 ml pack. As part of the initial launch plan, from January 26, Vio will be available exclusively across 500 Reliance Retail outlets.

The company had earlier tried its hand with Maaza Milky Delite, launched as part of a pilot project to get consumer insights in Kolkata.

T Krishnakumar, CEO, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (Coca-Cola’s India bottling arm), said that for now, Vio is being manufactured by the company’s co-packer, Schreiber Dynamix Dairies Pvt. Ltd, and will be distributed through Coca-Cola’s distribution network.


Looking for tie-ups

Kini added that Coca-Cola India will continue look at partnerships with well-entrenched dairy companies for sourcing and collection of milk, as the company wants to focus on leveraging its strength in branding, packaging and distribution.

Talking about the communication strategy for the new brand, Debabrata Mukherjee, Vice-President, Marketing and Commercial, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said that the brand is targeted at the youth and meant for on-the-go consumption.

Mukherjee added that since the current distribution strategy is focused on modern retail outlets, the brand’s communications strategy will be largely focused on digital marketing as well as in-store promotions. For instance, Reliance Retail will build awareness through special promotions, sampling opportunities as well as set up ‘VIO Dairy Zones’ across 9 stores to facilitate stronger consumer-product engagement.

The company is putting together its capabilities to be able to offer consumers great tasting products at competitive prices points leveraging on company’s wide distribution network, Kini added.