Coca-Cola India is extending its blockbuster water brand Kinley to a range of aerated beverages in three flavours — lemon, orange and a jeera-based flavour.

T Krishnakumar, President, Coca-Cola India, said the company will start piloting the beverages in a few markets. “We will take up states like Orissa, rural parts of Andhra Pradesh and some parts of the North and East. Hopefully, the pilot will roll out in the next three to four weeks. The product is ready,” he said.

Krishnakumar explained that the way the beverage business develops is when consumers move from water to packaged drinking water and then to the beverage of their choice.

We believe the transition from regular water to bottled water to our premium beverages could need a step in the ladder. The distance between the steps has widened. One of our most trusted brands in India is Kinley,” he explains. The range of aerated beverages will be affordable to consumers who are making that transition.

We will refine our portfolio as we go along and see what consumers say about the product,” he adds. “Millions of consumers drink Kinley water and for them to upgrade to a Kinley product will be quite easy. We felt familiarity with the brand is high and the transition will be pretty easy.”

Ethnic flavours

Coca-Cola India also plans to scale up its ethnic flavour offerings. Krishnakumar says the company has seen that regional players have leveraged consumer demand and grown different categories. “We have our offerings and we will scale up our whole approach. For instance, we have been piloting Rimzim, a spiced soda, for 8-10 months. It will be national by the end of the year. We are also now looking at other ethnic flavours. We want to offer the consumer good choices and you will see us competing very effectively in the ethnic flavours space,” says the Coca-Cola President.

This article was originally published in Hindu Business Line