Beverage major Coca-Cola on Thursday said that Thums Up has become a billion-dollar brand in 2021. This further solidifies the position of the home-grown Thums Up as the leading soft-drink brand in the company’s India portfolio, which it acquired in 1993 from Parle Bisleri Ltd.

The company also stated that in the December quarter and in entire 2021, growth in developing markets was led by countries such as India, signalling a pick-up in recovery trends and abatement in Covid-related uncertainties.

Talking about India’s performance on an analyst call post the global earnings release, James Quincey, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company said, “Our local Thums Up brand became a billion-dollar brand in India, driven by focused marketing and execution plans.”

“In India, initiatives to build omni-channel presence and marketing campaigns around key occasions by leveraging festivals and passion points,...... through occasion-led marketing and integrated execution, drove a sequential increase in market share and nearly 30 per cent growth in transactions for the quarter,” he added.

In its global earnings statement, the beverage major said, “For both the quarter and the year, growth in developing and emerging markets was led by China, India and Russia, while growth in developed markets was led by the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom.”

China, India lead growth

Talking about the performance of the Asia-Pacific region, the company added that unit case volume grew 11 per cent for the December quarter and that this growth was driven by China, India and the Philippines.

Commenting on the performance of the company-owned bottling investments, Coca-Cola added, “Unit case volume grew 13 per cent for the quarter, driven by strong growth in the key markets of India and the Philippines.”

India became the fifth-largest market for Coca-Cola by volume in 2019. The company had set out the target to make Thums Up a billion dollar brand a few years ago and in 2018 also decided to launch it in neighbouring markets such as Bangladesh.