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Last Updated: Friday, 26 March, 2004, 19:24 GMT
Vimto to make a splash in India
Vimto soft drinks
Vimto hopes to appeal to a new generation of Indian consumers
Nichols, maker of the iconic British soft drink Vimto, is planning a fresh assault on the Indian market after a 50-year absence.

Merseyside-based Nichols relaunched the Vimto brand in India last week, and aims to start selling the fruit-flavoured drink there later this year.

Vimto was popular in India during the British colonial era, but the drink was withdrawn in the 1950s.

Nichols chairman John Nichols said it was a good time to make a fresh start.

Brand memory

"India is a good market - there are lots of people, a growing economy, and an awareness of our product from many, many years ago," he told the BBC's World Business Report.

I think there is still appreciation of a great British product."
John Nichols
Mr Nichols added that he did not expect Vimto's association with the days of the British empire to put off a new generation of Indian consumers.

"There are some great British brands still being sold in India, such as Ovaltine," he said.

"Where there is awareness, I think there is still appreciation of a great British product."

Before the re-launch, Nichols had to re-register its copyright in India in order to fend off a range of copycat products sold under derivative names such as "Wimto."

Protection

"We now have our Vimto trademark fully registered again on the Indian continent, and that gives us an opportunity to go back into that marketplace," Mr Nichols said.

Nichols' Indian operations are expected to start making money two to three years from now.

Nichols - which also owns a food products business - turned in profits of 6.6m in 2003, up 17% on the previous year, while sales climbed to 97.1m from 96.2m.

Vimto was originally developed as a health tonic in Manchester in the early 1900s.




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Nichols Chairman John Nichols
"India is a good market."



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16 Dec 03  |  South Asia
Jobs axed at Vimto factories
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