Can another cuppa, this one in India, help Coca-Cola de-risk itself from its conventional soda business?
Amid a growing shift to more healthy liquids, the beverage massive has for some time been diversifying its portfolio past carbonated drinks. Ten months after, it splurged $five.1 billion (Rs35,000 crore) to collect UK-based Costa Coffee, the Atlanta-based totally company, is now said to be eyeing a chief stake in the Indian retail chain Café Coffee Day (CCD). Neither agency has shown the talks but, though.

For VG Siddhartha, promoter of the Bengaluru-based Coffee Day Enterprises (CDEL), which runs CCD, the primary motive would be to pare his group’s rising debt. Earlier this 12 months, he sold his more or less 20% stake within the data generation company Mindtree.
However, does it make the experience for Coca-Cola, ordinarily a bottled beverages seller, to vie with setting up players like Starbucks and Barista for a proportion of India’s coffee retail pie?

An excellent suit?

Coca-Cola is struggling with the boom in India and globally.
“The cola giants (Coca-Cola and Pepsi) have invested closely in infrastructure but can not keep up with the client preference for more healthy beverages. This requires a trade-in strategy and probably an entire overhaul of consciousness merchandise in India,” said Vineet Trakroo, CEO of Evolution Strategy Advisors, a Gurugram-primarily based advertising consultancy company.

A toehold in India’s Rs2,500-crore coffee retail market could allow Coca-Cola to pursue young and aspirational purchasers. CCD is a place wherein children dangle out, professionals meet, and in which the startup entrepreneur regularly works.
“Investing in an espresso retail chain is an attractive proposition for Coca-Cola, looking for a slice of the younger India that prefers to consume out,” stated Rini Dutta, founder of Centric Brand Advisors, a Bengaluru-primarily based company specializing in logo positioning and the income approach.
Besides, there are other synergies.
As of March 2019, CCD had 1,752 cafes and 60,000 merchandising machines across India. “Coca-Cola can use CCD’s network and dependable customers to assist increase consumption of its existing international merchandise like fruit juices, Georgia coffee, and Fuse Tea,” advised Trakroo.

However, with Costa Coffee already in its pocket, does Coca-Cola need a 2d espresso retailer in its portfolio?
Experts recommend there received’t be any cannibalization as Costa Coffee has a dominant presence within the UK. CCD, then again, is an India-targeted acquisition.
“Even in markets wherein each brand co-exist (like in India), their price proposition and positioning is quite distinct. CCD is for the value-conscious, young patron graduating from the coffee subculture. Costa Coffee goals the more discerning and affluent patron section,” said Saurabh Uboweja, CEO at Brands of Desire, a Delhi-primarily based management consulting company.
Taking the purchase forward gained’t be a stroll in the park for Coca-Cola.

The challenges

CCD operates in a dynamic brick-and-mortar retail space, quite one-of-a-kind from Coca-Cola’s acquainted turf of product retail. “The dynamics of turning in client pleasure in a café (retail) environment, including growing price ticket length, and making sure good enough footfalls, isn’t the same as the conventional beverage business,” talked about Dutta.
Then there’s the query of CDEL’s debt, which, as of March 31, stood at Rs6,547 crore, or two-and-a-half instances its internet worth, and higher than its marketplace capitalization. This is trouble while income and profits at CCD had been growing in the last three years.


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