Coca-Cola India is weighing options of sourcing mangoes and a few other fruits from West Bengal for brands like Maaza, a company official has said. The company would soon make a decision on it, the official said.
“We are exploring 2-3 fruits for sourcing from this state including mangoes and pineapples,” T Krishnakumar, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia was quoted by PTI as saying.
The company is holding dialogues with the horticulture department of the state for sourcing mangoes initially.
“Currently, we do not source any fruit from Bengal. We are holding dialogues with the horticulture department. In this summer season, some trial sourcing might be carried out for mango,” S R Goenka, Managing Director, Bengal Beverage-Dankuni was quoted by PTI as saying.
Bengal Beverage-Dankuni is a bottler for Coca-Cola in West Bengal. people aware of the development said, Coca-Cola may also test market Maaza by mixing Bengal varieties of mangoes. The state produces several mango varieties including ‘Himsagar’ and ‘Langra’. West Bengal’s average mango production is around 7 lakh tonnes. In a bumper year, it has even touched 10 lakh tonnes in the past. Setting up of a processing unit through partners may come up later as it will require a certain level of volume, they said.
Coca-Cola has embarked on enhancing the existing portfolio of juices with fruits that are locally grown in various regions of India. The initiative is aimed at becoming a complete beverage company.
Coca-Cola India expects its mango fruit drink Maaza to become a US $1 billion (approx. Rs 64,000 crore) brand by 2023. Coca-Cola, along with its bottling partners in India, presently procures around 1 lakh metric tonnes of mango pulp annually. This may double to 2 lakh metric tonnes, worth nearly Rs 1,100 crore and help 1,00,000 farmers by 2023, the company officials had said earlier.