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Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 22:52 GMT
Coke sells hot drinks in India
Tea vendors on a Calcutta street
Coca-Cola will enter a market served by vendors
Coca-Cola has announced that it is launching ready-to-drink tea and coffee in India.


It is time to take the product from the class market to the mass market

Sanjiv Gupta, Coca-Cola India
The multinational soft drink company says the beverages will be sold under the brand name Georgia from dispensing machines all over the country.

The new drinks will go on sale from the middle of this month, and are designed to help Coca-Cola increase its share of India's beverages market.

Coca-Cola India's Deputy President, Sanjiv Gupta, says 16% of tea and coffee in India is drunk outside the home, and that is the market that his company hopes to cater to.

The largest share of this market is at present served by hundreds of thousands of street vendors plying their trade in Indian cities and towns.

Market restored

Coca-Cola plans to sell each cup of Georgia tea for four rupees - about eight US cents - and coffee, five rupees.

Coca-Cola advert on Indian hillside
Coca-Cola has re-established itself in India
This is comparable to the price of ready-to-drink coffee sold in India by the Swiss company Nestle'.

Coca-Cola has already been selling premium coffee from McDonald's franchise in India under the brand "Georgia Gold" at prices three to four times higher.

"We think it is time to take the product from the class market to the mass market," says Mr Gupta. "Hot tea and coffee form the biggest combination in India's burgeoning beverage market."

Coca-Cola has established a major presence in India's soft drinks market since it was allowed to return in 1993.

The company withdrew its operations from India in 1977 over the Indian Government's demand that it reveal the formula for its famous soft drink.

See also:

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