The beverage giant has signed an agreement with the Indian Ministry of Food Processing Industries, which states that it, along with its bottling partners, fruit suppliers and processors, will seek to benefit local producers and businesses.
According to Coca-Cola India, it hopes to enhance its portfolio of juices with regional Indian fruits, add juice to its range of sparkling products and create new products with popular Indian fruits.
The collaboration is expected to increase productivity and income, reduce wastage, drive exports, and also drive resources back to the farm.
Close to US$800m would go to the procurement of processed fruit pulp and fruit concentrate, and the rest would be invested in building the infrastructure.
T Krishnakumar, president, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia said: “We believe that our efforts will help catalyse the country’s fruit processing industry by creating demand through new products and investments, ultimately generating new opportunities for farmers, local suppliers and retailers.”
As part of the initiative, the company will create a range of region-specific juice variants and products inspired by Indian fruits. The aim is to strengthen the local and regional value chain and drive demand for locally-grown fruit.
Indian fruits such as Gritty Guava from Allahabadi Amrood, Dusseheri mango from Uttar Pradesh, Kesar mango from Gujarat, Santra and Mosambi from Maharashtra and Litchi from Bihar will be sourced and processed under the Minute Maid brand.
As part of Coca-Cola’s global strategy, it also announced its entry into the Beverage Plus category in India with a new frozen fruit dessert. Minute Maid Perfect Fruit is a sugar-free, zero-fat, non-dairy frozen dessert that will be dispensed from a customised machine.
The deal was signed at the recent World Food India event.