November 16, 2010 saw the launch of Nestea in Mumbai, at the Taj Lands End. The product is a global brand licensed to Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW), a joint venture between The Coca-Cola Company and Nestlé S.A. This Switzerland-based JV was initiated in 2001 and entails a 50:50 partnership between the two companies.
Present at the launch were Ricardo Fort, vice-president, marketing, Coca-Cola India and Milind Pingle, region vice-president, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages.
The bottle has been specifically designed to resemble a sculpture of sorts and mimic an 'ice rock'. The tagline of the brand is, 'Lighten up; with Refreshingly Light Lemon Iced Tea!'
"In India, Nestea will be manufactured at the Hindustan Coca-Cola bottling plant located at Atmakuru in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh," informs Pingle.
The product is already present in over 60 countries and is available in several flavours besides lemon. It has a strong presence in the United States, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and China.
Interestingly, the flavour and packaging vary depending on the country; the Indian blend has been created keeping in mind the needs and tastes of Indian consumers.
The product is being rolled out in phases and the Mumbai launch is the first part of this phased launch. Next year, it will be rolled out pan-India. Fort reveals, "This is a test launch, and in 2011, there will be a national rollout of the product. I, however, cannot put an exact date to when the brand will move to other Indian cities."
Nestea primarily targets young adults who are optimistic, energetic and ambitious. The company specifies that Nestea finds a fit with this trendy TG, as the brand itself stands for modernity and youth and current trends. The launch rests on the rationale that the culture of consuming iced tea prevails strongly in India, in part owing to the current café culture.
Explaining the product offering, Fort says, "Our internal research showed that the on-the-go pack option for iced tea was missing in the Indian market. Though people consumed tea in its iced form, this is the first time it will be available in the convenience of a bottle."
He goes on to explain why this is a good time to launch Nestea in India. "The beverage market is growing here. With rural to urban migration and escalating disposable income, convenience is what consumers now need," he declares.
The upcoming advertising campaign will be loaded heavily in favour of focused and experiential sampling. This will be done via consumer activation programmes and road shows at touch points populated by young adults, such as malls, colleges, high-end traditional trade outlets and multiplexes. The execution, it is believed, is bound to be segmented and innovative.
Besides sampling and BTL activation, there will be aggressive OOH, radio and print communication. Innovative point of sale branding is also on the cards. TV is not on the communication agenda as of now, possibly owing to the non-fragmented nature of the Mumbai market. "Within the next two days, communication for Nestea will soar," informs Fort.
Product distribution will cover well-thought of outlets, including education clusters, multiplexes, malls and convenience stores. The product will be made available in high-end groceries and the focus will remain on all high and medium income localities. Over the next four months, the brand would be retailed across 8,000 outlets in Mumbai, and a total of 50,000 product samples will be distributed.
While the ad spend figures could not be determined, it is learnt that investments will be steered in the direction of category building and future consumption channels.
The creative duties for the brand are in the hands of Pickle Lintas and the media duties lie with Lodestar Universal.
For the record, Coca-Cola currently has a large number of products in India. Sparkling beverages include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Limca and Thums Up; while fruit-based drinks include Maaza and Minute Maid. Besides these beverages, Coca-Cola is present in the retail water category with its brand, Kinley.
The company recently launched energy drink, Burn and Maaza Milky Delite. The latter introduced Maaza in the dairy segment.