The Coca-Cola Company’s lemon drink Sprite has become a billion dollar brand in annual sales in India, the beverage maker said in its global earnings report this week.
“Sprite has grown to become a billion dollar brand in India driven by the success of a locally-adapted, occasion-based global marketing campaign," the company said.
Sprite, over the years, has managed to establish itself as a youth brand. Its advertising is edgy, quirky, and often involves over-the-top urban conversations in its storytelling and narrative.
For the summer of 2022, Coca-Cola India unveiled a new campaign ‘Thand Rakh’ for Sprite. It is designed to appeal to teens and young adults who tend to give in to irking situations, as they go about encountering challenges and exploring the world.
Basis the third quarter 2022 results, the company said that its growth has been driven by the success of locally adapted, occasion-based global marketing campaigns and screen time.
In India, the company says that it has strengthened in the year’s first half, gaining share in sparkling soft drinks. Trademark Coke delivered strong growth through effective execution and occasion-based marketing.
“Sparkling soft drinks grew 3%, driven by growth across all geographic operating segments, primarily led by India, Mexico and China. Trademark Coca-Cola grew 3%, driven by growth across all geographic operating segments. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar grew 11%, driven by low double-digit growth across developed markets and high single-digit growth across developing and emerging markets. Sparkling flavors grew 3%, led by Asia Pacific and Latin America,” the company says.
Coca-Cola, the market leader in soft drinks, reported strong volume growth in its India business in the third quarter of 2022, aided by its effervescent soft drinks portfolio and fruit drink brand Maaza.
Coca-Cola’s unit case volume increased by 9% in the three months ending September 30. Its established markets expanded by the mid-single digits while developing and emerging markets expanded by the low single digits.
Sharing other India-specific information, the company said, “We drove 2.5 billion transactions in India at affordable price points through the expansion of returnable glass bottles and single-serve PET packages.”
“Nutrition, juice, dairy and plant-based beverages were even, as growth led by Minute Maid Pulpy in China, Maaza® in India and fairlife® in the United States was offset by declines primarily in local brands in Eastern Europe,” the company noted.
The other billion-dollar brand
Earlier this year, iconic Indian brand Thums Up broke into the billion-dollar club, a goal The Coca-Cola Company has been aggressively working towards since 2019.
"Our local Thums Up brand became a billion-dollar brand in India, driven by focused marketing and execution plans," said chairman and CEO James Quincey at the time.
Thums Up was launched in 1977 by Ramesh Chauhan of Parle and was acquired by Coca-Cola in 1993. It is one of the strongest products in Coca-Cola's portfolio and the company has leveraged Bollywood celebrities and popular cricketers to promote it in the India market for years.