NIGERIA – Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc (“SBC”), the bottler of PepsiCo brands of soft drinks in the Nigeria has launched Lipton Ice Tea following the revived partnership between Soft drink giant PepsiCo and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) giant, Unilever.

According to Segun Ogunleye, Marketing Manager at Seven Up Bottling Company, the new Lipton Ice Tea is made from the freshest tea leaves soaked in hours of glorious sunshine and it comes in two juicy flavours of Peach and Lemon.

In 2003, PepsiCo and Unilever formed a global 50:50 joint venture – Pepsi Lipton International – to manufacture and market Lipton Ice Tea variants in 67 countries.

However, it turned out that the product was ahead of its time as consumer insights revealed there was a gap between intent and action when it comes to consumption of healthy beverages.

It has now been reintroduced in the Nigerian Market with increasing health awareness particular, young urban adults looking at healthier options such as ice tea among beverage consumers.

The joint venture company will use PepsiCo’s bottling facilities and distribution networks and Unilever’s famous tea brand and recipe.

The decision to relaunch the Lipton Ice Tea comes at a time when rival Coca-Cola completed the full acquisition of Chi Ltd, three years after buying 40 percent stake in the juice and snack company.

Chi also has Chivita Ice Tea Lemon brand in the Ice Tea segment of the market.

CHI Ltd has continued to dominate ready to drink ice tea segment, the company leverages on its strong brand equity in juice, with consumers seeing its ice tea brand as an extension of the portfolio.

The two companies, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola now have to compete in the Ice Tea segment to battle for the market share.

Euromonitor International, world’s leading independent provider of strategic market research, revealed that RTD tea consumers have shown more loyalty to local brands, which are often available at more competitive prices.

Thus, Chi Ice Tea, which is packaged locally and widely distributed, gained a competitive edge over international rivals, especially during the recession.