Looks like cola sales in India are down by about 15% this April and May when compared to the same period last year. What could be the reason? Here are my thoughts:
- Prices have increased considerably: Entry level 200ml cola bottle costs 8 rupees now, as opposed to 5-6 rupees last year. Compared to that, fresh coconuts cost about 5-7 rupees a piece. Coconut water consumption increased in most parts of southern India I have seen.
- People preferring fruit juices: Fresh fruit juices are now as affordable as similar sized colas. That makes a dent.
- Stocks: In two instances during my last month’s travel, I was told that they don’t have stocks of a particular cola in these mid sized towns. So I had to go for carbonated drinking water (called “soda” in India)
It would be interesting to see how the next year’s market would be. Will the cola companies cut their profits by NOT signing big stars for advertisements, or would they stick with the prices and adopt some other technique to improve the sales.