Coca-Cola says India saw strong growth in soft drinks and juices in Q2

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on July 22, 2021

Consolidated unit case volume grew 18 per cent in the second quarter

Beverage major Coca-Cola said that it witnessed strong growth in sparkling soft drinks and juices categories aided by markets such as India in the second quarter ended July 2. However, the company pointed out that markets such as India continue to be under pressure when compared to the pre-pandemic levels.

On an earnings call on Wednesday, James Quincey Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola said that recovery remains “asynchronous” as several parts of the world deal with infections, leading to delayed openings and in some cases heightened restrictions.

“In India and across much of Southeast Asia, resurgence in the virus impacted further recovery…. as India's restrictions have eased a bit, we're encouraged by the level of resilience in both the business as well as our system associates as they have navigated this resurgence,” he added.

Volume acceleration

“India and Southeast Asia were our only areas that did not see sequential volume acceleration on a two-year basis this quarter,” Quincey added.

In its earnings statement, the beverage major said sparkling soft drinks grew 14 per cent, led by strong growth in the United States, India and Brazil. It also noted “solid performance” of juice drink brand Maaza in India in the second quarter ended July 2.

“India, earlier in the quarter, brought in a strong set of restrictions and the business went negative. But when they reopened, they bounced back. So, clearly, whilst we have adapted the business and made it more resilient to levels of lockdown, when these do occur, wherever they do occur around the world, it's going to impact the business,” Quincey said in a reply to a query on the earnings call.

The company said that the consolidated unit case volume grew 18 per cent in the second quarter. “Markets such as China, Brazil and Nigeria grew volume ahead of 2019 levels while other markets, including India, continued to be under pressure versus 2019, driven by the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the earning statement added.

Talking about the performance of the bottling investments group, the beverage major said, “Unit case volume grew 25 per cent in the quarter, primarily driven by solid growth in India and South Africa.” The bottling investment group represents the company-owned bottling plants network across the globe

Unit case volume growth is the number of unit cases of beverages sold directly or indirectly by the company and its bottling partners.

Published on July 22, 2021

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