Sprite set to overtake Thums Up as largest soft drink brand in India

Vinay Kamath New Delhi | Updated on January 30, 2013

New and refreshed: Sprite, according to a Coke spokesperson, is all set to unveil its new summer campaign.

This year could well see a change in the pecking order of carbonated soft drinks in the Indian market.

The Indian market for fizzy drinks has so far been dominated by Thums Up, a brand that Coca-Cola bought from Parle several years ago.

This summer, according to industry estimates, could well see a ‘lime and lemony’, sparkling drink overtake cola. Brand Sprite, also a Coca Cola brand, is likely to be India’s largest selling soft drink brand by the middle of the year.

Sprite has a market share of 14 per cent while Thums Up has a 15 per cent share and the lemony drink has reached a tipping point where it is poised to overtake Thums Up, says an industry official who did not wish to be quoted. Following the two Coca Cola brands, Sprite and Thums Up, is Pepsi, which industry estimates puts at having a 11.2 per cent market share. Sprite is also the largest selling sparkling (carbonated) soft drink brand in China as well, according to industry players.

Brand Coke itself follows Pepsi with a 7.5 per cent share. Several other brands such as Fanta and Mirinda with a similar share of the market as Coke jostle for the fourth place in terms of share.

The cola segment of the market is around Rs 5,000 crore in size, while the lime and lemony segment is much larger at Rs 6,500 crore, according to industry estimates. The orange segment stands at Rs 2,700 crore. The overall market for CSDs is around Rs 14,000 crore annually.

Sprite, according to a Coke spokesperson, is all set to unveil its new summer campaign with a tagline of ‘ chalo apni chaal’. It will continue with its characteristic no-nonsense campaign which has been resonant with its target audience of youth. Its earlier campaign of Sprite quenching thirst, period, while other ad planks were mere nonsense, also struck a chord with its audience. The two new TVCs give a flavour of different situations where the Sprite guy is faced with competition and he makes his own unique move to achieve what he wants.

Sprite’s success has to do with the fact that consumers are quaffing more clear drinks than cola and also by the fact that the drink tastes fine even when it’s not cold, unlike a cola. With huge power cuts around the country, this has helped lemony drinks’ cause, apart from Sprite’s edgy advertising.

The new TVCs have been conceptualised by Ajay Gahlaut, Group Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, and directed by reputed ad film maker, Prasoon Pandey of Corcoise films.

Published on January 30, 2013

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