Imagine how the world would
have been if we, Indians, hadn't invented the 'zero'. Not only would have the loss been irreparable for the world of mathematics, Coca-Cola would have never been able to launch its latest offering in India, Sprite Zero. The sub-brand of Sprite comes without calories; hence, the name 'Zero'.
Sprite Zero made its Indian debut about two weeks back in Delhi. The brand is being subsequently launched in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. In due course of time, Sprite Zero would be gradually introduced in smaller towns and cities.
On the launch of Sprite Zero, Vikas Gupta, vice-president - marketing, Coca-Cola India, says, "This is the first time when a diet-version of a non-Cola brand has been introduced in the country."
The new launch, he says, reiterates Coca-Cola India's passion to look beyond "just quenching the thirst of soft drink consumers". In the same breath, he adds, "From an industry perspective, Sprite Zero has added a whole new dimension - both in terms of giving a greater choice to the consumer and also enhancing the appeal of carbonated soft drinks in the country."
Positioned as a youth drink, Sprite, the mother brand, has always stood for a "straight-forward, no nonsense" attitude. Adopting the same positioning, Sprite Zero, with zero calories, aims to appeal to the young adult, who identifies with brand Sprite, but is very calorie-conscious. The campaign for Sprite Zero is being handled by O&M, and although there are no plans to make a TVC this year, the brand would be extensively advertised through the print media, Gupta explains.
Sprite, he adds, is enjoying "an extremely successful run in the Indian market" and commands close "to 11% share of total CSD segment". The carbonated soft drinks market is estimated to be around Rs 7,000 crore. "Sprite is the fastest growing carbonated soft drink brand in India," he adds.
Gupta also clarifies that the perception about aspartame, the low-calorie sweetener in diet drinks, being carcinogenic (cancer causing) is "100 per cent misplaced". Refuting the myth, he explains, "Aspartame is one of the most extensively researched non-nutritive sweeteners. In fact, its effect has been studied for more than two decades, and there has been nothing to suggest that it induces cancer, or heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)."
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