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Coca-Cola Eyes Sustainable Growth With $5 Billion India Investment

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 26, 2012 09:55 AM

When you’ve got more than 1.2 billion residents, marketers want you in the worst way. And so Coca-Cola is going big-time after the Indian market, upping its investment there by $3 billion to a whopping $5 billion through 2020. That means the next time you go to there to climb the world’s third-highest mountain, Kanchenjunga, or visit with the Dalai Lama, a Coke product shouldn’t be too far away from your grasp.

According to Fox Business, the money will go toward helping Coca-Cola's India subsidiary expand “its distribution network, cold drink equipment placement and manufacturing capacity.” The company had a good first quarter with earnings rising 7.9% and revenue going up almost 6%. In India, though, the company had a 20% increase. Not too shabby. In fact, sales have gone up in India for 23 straight quarters and Coke’s Thums Up and Sprite are the two leading soft-drink brands there, Fox reports.

"Achieving continued sustainable, responsible growth in India is core to achieving our 2020 Vision of doubling system revenues in this decade," said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company in a press release. "Our ongoing investment in India is focused on delivering innovation, partnerships and a portfolio that enhances the consumer experience, ensures product affordability and builds brand loyalty to deliver long-term growth."Continue reading...


Ikea Looks to Asia for Growth, as Russia's Old Growth (Trees) Cause Concerns [Updated]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 12, 2012 11:01 AM

(Editor's note: The following has been updated with comment from Ikea.)

About 80 percent of furniture maker Ikea’s revenue comes from its stores in Europe — not the idea place you want to depend on your cash flow these days as the continent’s collective economy struggles to stay above water.

So Ikea is keeping itself busy expanding into – where else? – Asia, where it made $31.4 billion in its last fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31. Ikea had been opening one store a year in China but has now upgraded that to three, according to Bloomberg. And it is waiting to see what happens with legislation in India in hopes of entering that country’s retail space as well.

“Cautiously we are adding new markets,” Ikea CEO Mikael Ohlsson told Bloomberg. “We have big interest in opening in India. When the conditions are ripe in India we can start to prepare for an opening there.”Continue reading...

brand accolades

Zippo, Burning Bright at 80, Hits 500M Benchmark

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 11, 2012 05:02 PM

It can be difficult to find anyone holding up a lighter anymore at concerts. There are few smokers, for one thing, and most concertgoers just hold up their phones (annoying anyone behind them not doing the same). There’s an app for everything, apparently.

But that doesn’t mean that lighters aren’t out there. Zippos has continued to crank them out no matter what the music of the day or what exactly needs to be set on fire. The brand just passed a major milestone, celebrating the production of its 500 millionth windproof pocket lighter on June 5th. The event (coincidentally?) fell on the birthday of the Pennsylvania company’s late founder, George G. Blaisdell.Continue reading...

auto motive

IPO Speculation Mounts as Tata Looks to Leverage Jaguar Land Rover

Posted by Dale Buss on April 20, 2012 11:01 AM

Tata Group long has been regarded as a great way to invest in the burgeoning economy and population of India, because the industrial conglomerate is the dominant business in that fast-growing country. But now, some investors are looking at Tata and its Jaguar Land Rover operation instead as a promising way to participate in the economic boom in China, in the commercial possibilities of Russia, and even in economic resurgence in the United States.

That's because Tata's $2.5 bilion purchase of the tattered Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford in 2008 has resulted in a turnaround of those venerable automotive enterprises — and has created rising expectations in the global investment community — as Bloomberg reports — that Tata will opportunize that progress with an IPO, floating an intial sale of shares in a reconstituted Jaguar Land Rover.Continue reading...

sip on this

Red Bull Battles India Chamchas

Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2012 01:01 PM

All sorts of people don't like Red Bull. Carbonated soft-drink fans (and many others) hate its awful taste. Nutritionists believe it's akin to poison. And there are a whole lot of people over 18 years old who just — well, don't like it.

But the energy-drink king probably has no bigger enemy than provincial authorities in Maharashtra, a state in India, who claim to have confiscated 1.6 million cans of the drink because it has too much caffeine, a level of between 250 parts per million and 300 parts per million. Apparently there is some confusion about how much caffeine caffeinated drinks sold in India can provide.

India's federal law provides for no more than 145ppm in carbonated beverages such as energy drinks — but also exempts energy drinks per se because, for some reason, they are classified as food items rather than carbonated beverages.Continue reading...


PepsiCo Changes Oil in India, Sheds 'Snack Smart' Logo

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 27, 2012 02:02 PM

For a few years now in India, PepsiCo has been making its snacks with rice-bran oil, a fact that allowed it to stick a “snack smart” logo on the packaging. After all, the snacks then “had 40% less saturated fat, zero trans fats and no added monosodium glutamate,” the Economic Times reports. The publication notes that the company made various pronouncements “across various multimedia campaigns” about the oil switch back in 2007.

Well, that was then. Recently, the company didn’t bother to use those various multimedia campaigns to let folks know about a different switch: a return to the original, cheaper palm oil. It simply removed the logo from such products as Lay’s chips, Krukure, Uncle Chipps, and Cheetos.

Three officials tell the Times that the switch was driven by a cost-saving measure — stop using the pricier rice-bran oil because it wasn't driving sales. No rice bran oil; no snack smart logo. "Our analysis of consumer feedback on the use of rice bran oil showed that the consumer did not show any added preference to the use of rice bran oil," a PepsiCo spokesman told ET.Continue reading...

tech innovation

PepsiCo Spurs Digital-Marketing Innovation in Brazil and India

Posted by Dale Buss on March 20, 2012 02:12 PM

To hear PepsiCo's top executives tell it, two of the company's biggest needs nowadays are innovative marketing to revitalize some of its brands, and keeping pace with big competitors in the CPG industry to expand its presence in emerging national markets.

That's why this expansion of the company's PepsiCo10 incubator program to India and Brazil is so timely. The move will give the company a much better chance of discovering and harnessing technology, media and communications entrepreneurs in those crucial markets in new initiatives that lead to effective digital- and social-marketing initiatives.

"These two countries are very exciting emerging markets for us," Josh Karpf, PepsiCo's fresh from SXSW digital director, told brandchannel. "Both for consumer trends and, as we get into it, a lot of interesting technology. It really lines up well for us. It's all about building brands and driving business" around the world.Continue reading...

branding together

India is Perking Up – Way Up: Buy Coffee and Earn Plane Tickets

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2012 09:58 AM

All you people drinking coffee in India should keep track of your cups. Drink enough of the stuff and you might earn yourself a free flight.

Indian Express reports that the country's top airline, Jet Airways, and #1 coffee chain, Barista Lavazza, have partnered up on a new loyalty program, JetPrivilege, that allows members to earn air miles from coffee purchase. For every 100 rupees spent, members earn five miles.

"Opportunities to engage with premium brands are of huge value to us,” said Jet chief commercial officer Sudheer Raghavan. “It means we can go above and beyond guest expectations, providing them with a number of value-added services. Given Jet's extensive route network and the high propensity of its guests to travel, it is a natural partner for a brand like Barista."

Barista has more than 160 cafes in India and also has locations in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. "Partnering with Jet is part of the larger strategy that Barista wishes to follow with an aim to ensuring customer delight," Barista Lavazza chief operating officer Nilanjan Bhattacharya added. Now bring on the caffeine and start racking up miles!

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