Photo credit: Business Standard.com
Coca-Cola in India: Naturally Flavored
In India, one of the most popular Coca-Cola products is Maaza, an indigenous brand made with real mango pulp that was acquired by the global soft drink giant in the 1990s.
For example, Pepsi’s recently launched mango beverage, Slice, and Parle Agro’s Frooti mango drink are both popular imitators of this popular drink.
Coca-Cola (CCE: NYQ) and its farmers face a difficult task as demand for their drinks rises in parallel with disposable incomes at coca-cola in India.
Coca-cola in India case study
To ensure supplies, Coca-Cola is training farmers in new mango-growing techniques. The US-based beverage company expects “ultra-high-density mango cultivation” to significantly lead output.
Jain Irrigation Systems (JISLJALEQS: NSI), a pioneering family-run drip irrigation enterprise, has already been experimenting with ultra-high-density mango cultivation on its demonstration fields. Depending on the mango variety, Jain scientists claim the techniques can increase yields by 2 to 3 times.
With this high-tech gardening method, farmers cultivate 674 mango trees per acre, compared to 40 trees per acre on Indian farms. Mango trees are generally tall in India, but these trees are ruthlessly cut. Drip irrigation also conserves water.
Furthermore, the total output per acre far outweighs the yield from fewer, larger trees.
Jain, which currently processes mango pulp, has been pushing the new growing method in Andhra Pradesh, India’s southern mango belt.
The new $2 million Coca-Cola agreement intends to speed up the process by transforming 200 private farms of 1 to 3 acres each into demonstration farms. These kinds of ties with firms are exactly what Indian farmers need to improve their own performance, given the status of India’s own agricultural extension programs, which were supposed to help farmers modernise.
As a result, most poorly educated and under-capitalised farmers rely on conventional agricultural methods and lack the help to embrace more modern or capital-intensive techniques.
Farmers are unable to keep up with the expanding demand for food, especially more nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat, from an increasingly affluent population.
Jain, which has worked for decades to promote drip irrigation technology, believes that farmers will readily adopt more modern, high-yielding practices if shown the way and supported properly.
Coca-Cola in India is promoting its Minute Maid orange juice and is thought to be looking into similar techniques to expand orange production.
The shaky Indian agriculture industry will need many more partnerships like this, concentrating on a wide range of commodities.