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Coca-Cola may 'eKoCool' urban India as well

June 10, 2011 14:28 IST

Coca-ColaGlobal beverage major Coca-Cola Company is likely to introduce 'eKOCool', the new eco-friendly innovation developed by its Indian arm Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, in urban areas based on the success of the trials that are currently under way in the hinterland, according to a company official.

eKOCool is a chest cooler that operates exclusively through solar energy, and has a capacity to store two crates (48 no) of 300 ml Coca-Cola glass bottles.

The product loaded into the cooler early morning or previous night is ready to be served chilled to consumers by 10.30 am in the morning. Besides, it offers value-added features like mobile charging and solar lantern charging systems.

"The idea behind this experiment is to help reduce the pollution apart from bringing benefits to the retailer like saving in electricity bill and cost of ice. We are still reviewing the trials, and will decide how far it can be scaled up depending on the success," said Deepak Kaul, senior vice-president (operations).

Coca-Cola is currently piloting eKOCool in the upcountry Agra with 20 units, with plans to test-market 100

units across the country by the end of this year. In Agra, the company found that sales from the outlets that are using eKOCool have almost increased by five times.

On the bottling plant that Coca-Cola proposed to set up in Karnataka, its third in the neighbouring state with an incremental investment of RsĀ  550 crore, Kaul said the state government had assured 250 acre of land in Yadgir district. "It is still in a very initial stage and will take a few years for the plant to come up," he while ruling out any possibility of setting up more plants down south.

The company, he said, recently launched Minute Maid 100% fruit juice in apple, orange and grape flavours in 200ml and 1-litre tetrapak.

Replying to a query on whether more new flavours would be added and bottled, Kaul said, "It's just two months ago that 100% was launched in tetrapak. Based on its success, we will decide to take it outside the tetrapak or into any other packaging format. It is too early to make any observations now."

K Rajani Kanth in Chennai/Hyderabad