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Coke's taaza take on Maaza

By Prakriti Prasad in New Delhi
April 20, 2005 09:39 IST
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In order to capitalise on the consumers' pre-occupation with health and wellness, Coca Cola India plans to grow its only juice brand, Maaza, with the help of a refreshing new strategy for summer.

The soft drinks major is looking at innovative packaging, catchy commercials, competitive pricing and more flavours to promote the brand in a big way, say Coke executives.

For many years Maaza was seen as a mango drink. However, this season, the brand is being extended to cover more flavours. Orange and pineapple flavours have already been launched in tetra packs.

The company is now looking at launching the new flavours in PET bottles. The commercial for the new flavours has also been shot along with the new Maaza mango spot, which goes on air on different channels on April 21.

With an eye to expand the home segment, the company has introduced Maaza in sleek, 'half-sleeved', 1.2 litre PET bottles that will be officially launched on Thursday.

"We're taking Maaza to the home market for the first time. Close to 90 per cent of all beverages are had at home, so it's natural for us to take our brands home," says Vikas Gupta, Coke's vice-president marketing.

The beverage major is reportedly undertaking a huge availability drive to ensure that the PET bottles, priced at Rs 36, the tetra packs priced at Rs 6 for 150 ml and Rs 8 for 200 ml, and the RGBs (returnable glass bottles) reach consumers in every part of the country.

"Multi-packaging is aimed at catering to all kinds of consumers," says the company's spokesperson. It's not difficult to see why Coke is focusing on Maaza.

Though the size of the juice market is approximately 3 to 4 per cent of the Rs 6,000 crore (Rs 60 billion) carbonated drinks industry, but the market is growing at a healthy rate.

"It is growing very rapidly," says Gupta. Maaza, he claims, is the market leader in the juice segment as it commands more than 30 per cent of the market share.

To push the new packaging, a new Maaza commercial will go on air on April 21, which takes forward the company's goal to reach the family as a health drink. Created by Leo Burnett, Mumbai, the new commercial shows two children engaged in a light banter with their mother in the typical "yaari dosti taaza maaza" way.

"Since we're launching the family pack, this time the commercial shows the entire family -- dadaji, dadima and the father besides the usual characters comprising mom and kids," says Rachana Roy, creative director, Leo Burnett.

To make the packaging attractive to children, the company has procured permission to use Disney characters on its 150 ml tetra packs called Chotu Maaza.

The packs, being promoted as a lunch accompaniment for school-going children, now come with Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Pluto games and puzzles. "We may launch some more Maaza commercials with animated cartoons," says Roy.

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Prakriti Prasad in New Delhi
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