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Lime & Lemony At
As it marks its 50th anniversary, Limca has evolved from the traditional ‘lime and lemony’ drink to a beverage that provides full-body rejuvenation and energy, says Arnab Roy, Vice President, Marketing, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia in a conversation with BW Businessworld’s Soumya Sehgal. Excerpts:
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Please expand on Limca’s journey and brand positioning through the past 50 years in India. How is the current market demand looking like for the brand?
Limca, which is Coca-Cola India’s homegrown beverage brand, has been the ultimate thirst quencher and is widely acclaimed for its unparalleled ability to instil a feeling of freshness in the minds and bodies of its consumers. This year, as we celebrate 50 years of the brand since its foundation in 1971, Limca has evolved from a traditional ‘lime and lemony’ drink to a refreshing beverage that provides full-body rejuvenation and energy.
Limca’s new brand positioning is an ode to the ‘doers’ in life and their relentless spirit of moving ahead and looking forward no matter how difficult the circumstances.
Limca, as a brand, resonates the spirit and imagery of ordinary, everyday people of India (earthy, self-made) and has a long, deep-rooted Indian connection, catering to regional markets including Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This year, the brand is seen to become more intrinsic and functional with the overarching aim of reaching a wider set of consumers.
The brand will stand as the ‘great rejuvenator’ that inspires Indians and keeps them going despite all odds. It will refresh consumers in everyday moments when they are hit by tiredness and are looking to physically recharge and replenish with a rejuvenating drink to keep them moving.
How has the demand for the hydration category drinks changed in India?
Our ‘Beverages for Life’ strategy recognises consumer diversity and believes in giving consumers more beverage choices and packages they want, for the occasions they want. All categories are important to us and all brands will have a distinct role to play in consumers’ lives. Hydration is a growing category in India. To cater to the growing demand for hydrating drinks, Coca-Cola added several beverages.
In the specific case of Limca, over the years, it has evolved from being a traditional ‘sparkling’ drink to ‘the ultimate rejuvenator and refresher’. Lime-lemon based replenishment is the core benefit of master brand Limca, designed specially to provide rejuvenation to consumers sweating it out on their day-to-day activities in real life.
The company is witnessing good growth across all categories. In the Asia Pacific market, in which India falls, Coca-Cola’s unit case volume grew 16 per cent led by sparkling flavours and the hydration category. As we move ahead, we will continue to focus on capturing moments of consumption by expanding the portfolio so that our brands and products become the most preferred choice for the consumer.
What are some of the changes you have made to your marketing and communications strategies, especially in light of the current situation?
Coca-Cola remains grounded in its purpose to craft meaningful brands and offer its consumers a choice of drinks that refresh body and spirit. At the same time, the organisation is also clear on the vision for the next stage of growth — to emerge stronger, guided by the purpose to ‘refresh the world, make a difference’.
At Coca-Cola, we want to bring consumers the brands and choices of drinks they love. Our communication also has always been around recognising real moments from consumer lives and narrating their stories across all our brands. Keeping up with the requirements in the new normal, Limca too has evolved to offer heightened hydration to the ‘doers’ of the country. We believe brands and their advertising need to be highly empathetic in such challenging periods. Credible, authentic communication will help win hearts at the end of the day and hopefully drive a base of loyal consumers.
Tell us a bit about the Limca Book of Records that completes 30 years in India.
Since the inception of the Limca Book of Records 30 years ago, the book has stood as a testimony to the stellar achievements by people in various fields such as science and technology, adventure, human endeavour, structures, education, defence, government, business, cinema, the natural world, literature, and the arts. We are thrilled to witness the achievements of Indians from all walks of life and all parts of the country. This year’s edition also honours the undefeated spirit of Covid-19 frontline warriors who have courageously led the battle against Covid-19, with a spotlight on their selfless acts of kindness along with showcasing the extraordinary talent and achievers across the country.
This edition also celebrates the astounding achievements of India’s green warriors — who looked beyond themselves to focus on the environment and our planet, in a new environment and sustainability section. They steered sustainability campaigns, focused on waste management, and undertook recycling and other environment-friendly missions. Besides ‘Environment and Sustainability’ and ‘Combating Covid-19’, the book also contains sections on ‘100 Years of India at the Olympics’, ‘Thrilling 30s’ and ‘Our States and Union Territories’.
A few highlights from this edition of the book are the Vande Bharat mission that became the world’s largest repatriation exercise, while Noccarc Robotics, a startup by Nikhil Kurele and Harshit Rathore developed low-cost portable ventilators; Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council for Medical Research developed Covaxin while Serum Institute of India manufactured Covishield, both approved vaccines that join the gallery of accomplishments on display in the Limca Book of Records.
Any thoughts on the way forward for LBR…
Over 30 years, the LBR has identified people who have the spirit to excel and follow their goals with single-minded passion. It emphasises the unique achievements of our citizens and is a salute to all those people who want to do something different and be remembered for their distinctive deeds. Being the first of its kind in the country, this book has been an instant hit with people from all generations.
The book has been well-received over the years and the proof can be seen in the ever-increasing number of record-holders and record-breakers that approach the book each day. Just like with this special edition where we have added new sections, we hope to explore newer avenues and scout for the ‘real heroes’ of India in the future as well. In the coming years, the Limca Book of Records will develop its social media platform to amplify stories of grit & determination, and bring alive the spirit of perseverance through popular youth-centric platforms.