Coca-Cola, Partners To Invest $1.7 Billion on Indian Agri-Ecosystem

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Coca-Cola Co., along with its bottling partners, fruit suppliers, and processors, announced on Monday, that they will invest $1.7 billion in India’s agricultural ecosystem over the next five years, with much of the investment going towards expanding the company’s juice portfolio.

“The investments announced today by Coca- Cola will further catalyze economic growth and create new opportunities for farmers and local suppliers,” said T Krishnakumar, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia President

Around $800 million of   the investment will go towards the procurement of processed fruit pulp and fruit concentrate for Coca-Cola juice and juice drinks, as well as the associated infrastructure.

In tandem with its bottling partners, fruit suppliers and processors in India, the U.S. beverage giant will invest the amount in the entire supply chain from grove to glass through a concept called the Fruit Circular Economy.

“If we are to realize our portfolio ambitions of being a Total Beverage Company, we must invest in the agri-ecosystem,” said T Krishnakumar, president, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia.

While the remaining amount would go towards creating the required infrastructure, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, Coke, along with other independent franchise bottlers and fruit processing companies, through its bottling arm, will invest around $900 million manufacturing lines, juice bottling infrastructure and fruit processing plants and equipment and agriculture interventions.

The company also said it procures and exports raw materials and ingredients worth $280 million from India to 44 countries.

Coca-Cola Plans To Launch Frozen Desserts in India

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola also plans to introduce frozen desserts in India as the beverages giant looks to continue its portfolio beyond carbonated drinks into fruit-based or other healthier choices.

“The new product will be available in the next three months, and initially sell in institutional formats such as movie theatres, and not as retail packs,” said by two officials aware of the launch. “The company will also put fruit chunks in Maaza and Minute Maid to make the drinks healthier.”

The new product range, made with fruit chunks, will be under the Minute Maid brand and challenge the dominance of Hindustan Unilever and Amul in the Rs 10,000 crore ice-cream segments.

Earlier today, Coca-Cola opened at $45.90 with a session high of $46.06 and a session low of $45.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $196.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.23, and a dividend yield of 3.22%.

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