INDIA – The Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Coca-Cola India, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards investing in the agri-ecosystem of the country.

In this agreement signed at the World Food India, The Coca-Cola Company, its bottling partners and its fruit suppliers and processors in India, will contribute US$1.7billion in the agri ecosystem of the country over the next 5 years, spanning the entire supply chain from Grove to Glass through a unique concept called the Fruit Circular Economy.

As the next step of its Fruit Circular Economy initiative, Coca-Cola India announced the launch of Fruits of India’ initiative, under which the Company will create a wide range of region-specific juice variants and products inspired by the diversity of fruits grown in India.

With this initiative, Coca-Cola India aims to strengthen the local and regional value chain and drive demand for locally grown fruit across the country.

Indian fruits, including Gritty Guava made 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 company’s flagship juice brand Minute Maid.

A national marketing campaign, Ras Ras mein India’ has been launched on the occasion to highlight the background and origin stories of these popular Indian fruits.

As part of Coca-Cola’s global strategy of providing choices for different occasions, the Company also announced its entry into the Beverage Plus category in India.

The Company has introduced, a frozen fruit dessert in India, which earmarked its foray in the Beverage Plus segment in India.

Minute Maid Perfect Fruit is a sugar free, zero- fat, non-dairy indulgent frozen dessert that offers consumers of all ages a perfect choice to relish the fruit snack on the go.

“Coca-Cola is on a transformational journey towards becoming a Total Beverages Company by enhancing its offerings to the world.

Coca-Cola India’s relentless efforts around the Virtuous Fruit Circular Economy, an initiative of using a variety of Indian fruits; is on its way to give better business results.

Our linkages with the Indian Agri-economy continue to grow strong and we continue to expand our product portfolio by utilizing locally grown fruits to create new flavors under the ‘Fruits of India’ initiative.

Further, our entry into the Beverage Plus category is a part of our portfolio expansion strategy with Minute Maid Perfect Fruit being the first milestone in this transformational journey.

We believe that our efforts will help catalyze the country’s fruit processing industry by creating demand through new products and investments, ultimately generating new opportunities for farmers, local suppliers and retailers,” said Mr. T. Krishnakumar, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, speaking on the occasion.

The company proposes to use fruit products in four ways.

First, entails enhancing the portfolio of juices with fruits that are grown in various regions of India and marketing the fruits in a processed juice format under brand Minute Maid.

Second, adding juice to the sparkling products. Third, creating innovative new products with Indian fruits and lastly, increasing the share of Indian Agri exports to the global Coca-Cola systems that currently stands at US$240 million.

Coca-Cola India interventions across the value chain starting from the farm-gate will increase productivity and income, reduce wastage, drive exports, and plough back the resources into the farm again.

Close to US$800million of US$1.7billion contribution would be towards the procurement of processed fruit pulp and fruit concentrate and the remaining would be invested in creating the required infrastructure.