Sprite becomes a billion-dollar brand in India

Late in October, the world’s largest soft drink producer, Coca-Cola Company, said that the Indian market had made Sprite, a billion-dollar brand, a lemon and lime-flavored soft drink. The company’s effervescent soft drink portfolio and fruit drink brand Maaza have contributed to the “great” volume growth it saw in the third quarter of 2022 in its India business.

James Quincey, Chairman, and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company spoke on the success of the Indian market during an earnings call, saying, “Trademark Coke delivered strong growth through effective execution and occasion-based marketing. We drove 2.5 billion transactions in India at affordable prices through the expansion of returnable glass bottles and single-serve PET packages.”

Coca-Cola maintained its strength in the first half of 2022 by increasing its market share in fizzy drinks. The CEO also said, “Sprite has grown to become a billion-dollar brand in the market, driven by the success of locally adapted, occasion-based global marketing campaigns and screen time.

The fifth-largest market for Coca-Cola worldwide is India. The Coca-Cola Company’s unit case volume increased by 4% between July and September 2022. While developing and emerging markets increased in the low single digits, its developed markets grew in the mid-single digits.

Coca-Cola’s CEO said, “Growth in developed markets was led by Western Europe, Mexico, and the United States, while India, China, and Brazil led growth in developing and emerging markets. Its sparkling soft drinks grew by 3 percent, primarily led by India, Mexico, and China.” With Minute Maid Pulpy in China, Maaza in India, and Fairlife (fa!rlife) in the US market as leaders, nutrition, juice, dairy, and plant-based beverages also saw growth. India is a part of the Asia Pacific region, where India’s market for Coca-Cola increased by 9%. Strong growth in China and India was the main driver of this. Sparkling soft drinks and hydration were the drivers of growth.

The amount of unit cases of the company’s beverages that it and its bottling partners directly or indirectly sell to clients is referred to as the “unit case volume.” Overall, organic revenues (non-GAAP) increased by 16 percent, while net revenues for the Coca-Cola Company increased by 10% to $11.1 billion. Quincey also said, “our business is resilient amidst a dynamic operating and macroeconomic environment. We are investing in our strong portfolio of brands, which is a cornerstone of our ability to deliver long-term value for our stakeholders.”

The biggest brands in India

Sprite is now one of the biggest brands in India, but they are not alone in this group. Since 2020, when COVID-19 struck the nation, India’s biggest brands have recovered from the pandemic to grow their brand worth by a staggering 35% Compound Annual Growth Rate. The collective market value of the top 75 brands in India is $393 billion, or 11% of the country’s GDP.

The most valuable Indian brand has changed, moving from HDFC Bank (ranked second, valued at $32.7 billion) to Tata Consultancy Services (ranked first, valued at US$45.5 billion), which has maintained the top spot since the first list was released in 2014. The global desire for automation and digital transformation in the wake of the pandemic has increased the value of Tata Consultancy Services’ brand.

Climate change seems to be a big growth factor for brands in India. 65% of Indians are concerned about climate change, and 64% think businesses should do more. The biggest brands have a clear purpose and a pertinent environmental agenda. These include the services platform Zomato (with $3.1 billion in revenue), which offsets the carbon footprint of its deliveries and packaging; Swiggy (with $4.8 billion in revenue), which improves consumers’ quality of life by delivering meals, groceries, and healthy items quickly; and Flipkart ($8.9 billion in revenue), which also assists smaller local brands in reaching consumers through its platform.

The bottom line

Coca-Cola strengthened further as it increased its share of fizzy drink offers in the first half of 2022. Due largely to the success of locally tailored, occasion-based global marketing campaigns and screen time, Sprite has developed into a billion-dollar brand.