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Tuesday, May 14, 2002

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Kinley to flow into 200-ml cups, at 3 bucks

Ratna Bhushan


COCA-COLA India is set to introduce Kinley, its bottled water brand, in 200-ml cups this season. The cups will be priced at Rs 3 each.

"We intend to introduce Kinley in cups this season, beginning with Chennai and Gujarat. Subsequently, we will roll out Kinley in cups across the country," Mr Sanjiv Gupta, Deputy Division President, Coca-Cola India, told Business Line.

Coca-Cola intends to tap restaurants and hotels, caterers, transport channels such as buses and trains, and social occasions such as weddings and parties for pushing Kinley in cups, Mr Gupta said.

The soft drink major foresees Kinley cups as occupying the top end of the pouches water market.

Apart from Bisleri, few other brands have bottled water in cups of 250 ml and 200 ml, but the presence of most brands in this pack size has been limited.

Kinley, which was launched in 2000, has been available in pack sizes of 500 ml, 1 litre, 1.5 litres, 2 litres, 5 litres, 20 litres and 25 litres.

According to ORG data for the month ended March 2002, Kinley's market-share in the Rs 1,000-crore bottled water market is 29.8 per cent, followed by PepsiCo India's Aquafina with an 11.5 per cent share. While Bisleri's share has slipped, it remains the market leader with a 37.6 per cent share.

Coke has identified bottled water as among its big ideas for growth, and is working towards taking Kinley to market leadership by the year-end. The company now has separate distribution channels for Kinley and carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) in key markets such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata.

Last year, in the bulk water segment in Delhi and Pune, Coca-Cola had tied up with Nuchem Weir and Thermax Culligan Water Technologies respectively.

In Kolkata, a similar contract was struck with Bisleri's franchisee, and later with S.R Minerals in Chennai, which was marketing the Hello brand in the city.

Coca-Cola plans to double the bottling capacity for Kinley this year, in addition to its 15 existing plants. Coca-Cola has identified 10-15 sites for additional plants for water this calendar year, and these will be a combination of company-owned plants, franchisee operations and contract packers.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's powdered soft drink brand, Sunfill, is expected to be rolled out in lemon and mango variants within the next 10 days, Mr Gupta said.

The brand was introduced last year as a powdered orange drink, priced at Rs 2 each for 25-gm sachets and Rs 15 for 200-gm sachets.

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