Largest bottling partner of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages plans to open Rs.450-crore facility in Sanand, Gujarat by January as it tests more than 20 new products made locally in a bid to make India among its top three global markets. CEO, Christina Ruggiero said “We will be kicking off shortly our next new greenfield facility in Sanand in Gujarat by December-end or early-January. The phase I of this project is estimated to cost about Rs.450 crore. It will have lots of green initiatives, automation and robotics involved.”
The facility will have multiple bottling lines for carbonated beverages such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Limca, Thumbs Up, juices and juice-based drinks like Minute Maid, Mazza, and, bottled water Kinley soda. Increasing health awareness among consumers and their preference for health and wellness products are the likely reasons for strong growth expected in juices. Carbonates, both cola and non-cola carbonates were likely to see sustained slowdowns in volume growth rates as per the April report.
Food industry in India is projected at Rs.14, 500 crore. The non-alcoholic beverages market stands about $5 billion and health beverages market is $300 million which are growing fast. The fruit drinks market is Rs. 6,000 crore, as per Indian Beverages Association. Ruggiero said “Aerated and carbonates are actually growing. It is an interesting thing because aerated and carbonated from an industry standpoint is growing. It has grown about 5% in India. It accounts for 60-65% of our business. Our aspiration is to have double-digit growth. Prior to my coming in July, we were having a single-digit growth. After July, we are seeing double digit growth. In India, local works. Different customers need different products. Hopefully, the next will be mosambi (sweet lime). Juice industry in India is seeing explosive growth as more Indians are switching from fresh to packaged juice. More Indians are entering the non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink segment. We will be pushing the existing factories to see how to make new juices, carbonated drinks and new products.”
The company makes carbonated drinks, juices, packaged water, milk-based drink Vio, value-added water also sells tea and coffee. “We currently have a pilot project running in Bengaluru called Perfect Fruit. It is just 25 machines and we are doing a test to see how it goes. Local fruits we buy to make our juices go in to a machine and are turned into frozen fruit. No sugars but just the fruit. Out of these 220 products already 20 are in various stages, they are in different parts of India.” They have announced plans to source 40% of its energy requirements using renewable and clean energy fuel, before end of 2018. It will procure 30 million units of solar power per year from Atria Solar Power. It also inaugurated its CNG-based boiler system at its factory in Bidadi, near Bengaluru.