For the very first time, beverage maker Coca-Cola seems like testing its low-calorie brand Sprite Zero in India on an eCommerce mobile app, Grofers.
For the very first time, beverage maker Coca-Cola seems like testing its low-calorie brand Sprite Zero in India on an eCommerce mobile app, Grofers. Prior to this, the soft-drink had always preferred test-marketing new brands through select modern trade store.
Sprite Zero will be sold exclusively on Grofers for a fortnight. During this period, the hyperlocal grocery delivery company will pick the product directly from Coca-Cola and deliver it to the consumers who ordered it on the mobile app. Depending on consumer feedback, the product's taste and price will then be tweaked or it will be taken forward.
Last year, Coca-Cola introduced Coke Zero on online marketplace Amazon, but that was a formal launch.
The clear lemon-lime Sprite is the country's top-selling aerated drink with a close to 18 per cent market share, a Coca-Cola executive said, citing data from researcher Nielsen. It overtook Thums Up, a strong-carbonation cola brand owned by Coca-Cola two years ago, indicating changing consumer preferences towards the lime segment over colas. Globally, too, cola sales have remained flat as consumers switch to healthier drinks.
"Coke will use the insights from on-demand sale on Grofers for Sprite Zero to identify and track consumer preferences and postpurchase feedback," one of the executives said.
Coke will pilot with around 300 ml cans at Rs 25 to test the low-calorie variant of Sprite.
Looking at the global trends, the diet category is gradually gaining traction in India too. Last year, the category posted close to 39 per cent growth compared with the 13 per cent increase recorded each year during 2010-14. Value sales of diet drinks are estimated at Rs 300 crore.
Both Coca-Cola and rival Pepsi-Co have been hedging risks of flat cola sales by widening their product portfolios to include low-calorie beverages. Last year, Coca-Cola launched zero-sugar Coke Zero.
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