As India evolves economically and socially, the consumer’s choice of beverages will also grow. The speed at which the economy will grow will be more dynamic than the speed at which products are launched in the market. So, to keep pace with the growing socio-economy, Coca-Cola has launched an incubation model that will help increase the speed of launches in a year. Where a product launch was taking 2-3 years, the incubation model will help launch a minimum of 10 products in a year.
T. Krishnakumar, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said, “We thought to change the paradigm so that we are ready and find ways in which we can quickly test many products and find out what can be scaled up because in the consumer space, not every product you test becomes a mega success. The idea of incubation model is to launch multiple products tested every year so that we have a pipeline of successful products that can be scaled for the future.”
As part of the first few products launches with the help of incubation model, Coca-Cola also announced its entry into new categories of enhanced hydration and nutritious dilutable with the launch of Aquarius Glucocharge and Minute Maid Vitingo.
Presently, the brand targets to try at least 10 products a year and to eventually scale up, doing 20-30 products in a year. “The incubation model gives us a freedom to stretch easily. Many of the product launches will be extension of the brands we already have or are about to launch,” said Krishnakumar.
Earlier, it used to take 2-3 years to launch a product. Firstly the product was used to be developed and then the consumer insight used to happen by launching it in one small part of the town. Then the brand used to take consumer feedback, understand and correct it. In this process, while 4-5 products were tested, only one used to come out successfully.
Aquarius Glucocharge has glucose, essential minerals (potassium, sodium, calcium) and fruit juice and is targeted at the Indian consumers who toil in the heat and need instant rehydration to overcome exhaustion. The low sugar beverage with fruit juice is priced at Rs 10 for a 200 ml serving.
Minute Maid Vitingo is a specially formulated product to address micronutrient deficiency and malnutrition in India. The formulation is fortified with Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc, Folic Acid, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B12. It comes in single serving sachets of 18 gm priced at Rs 5.
The brand has used the Russian Peasant methodology, which is an interesting way to multiply numbers that uses a process of halving and doubling. The methodology includes a few people from the Coca-Cola office, a few from the brand’s India R&D office and a few from the Shanghai R&D who are digitally a part of the product at that time. Secondly, the products that are incubated may not go through the bottling system.
Krishnakumar said, “Our bottling system is very strong where we can make that one into hundred. Making that one is tough. We have created a universe which can give us a product that can be launched nationally. This model is designed to turn around products in weeks.”
With the help of the incubation model, Coca-Cola has reduced the turnaround time taken in consumer insight to commercially launch any product. Within the incubation model, the brand has also got away from launching a product in one part of the country and then taking 2-3 years to launch nationally.
“We believe that in three months, this product will be available nationally. So, by the end of the year, we will have this jury on how well is this product been accepted because we will keep waiting and fine-tuning the product as we go along. With this, in six months, we will be in a position to scale it up and make it another product,” said Krishnakumar.