Beverage major Coca-Cola has entered India's niche but potentially high-volume non-alcoholic malt drinks market in a big way with its global brand Barbican. A malt drink is a fermented drink in which the primary ingredient is the grain, or seed, of the barley plant, which has been allowed to sprout slightly in a traditional way called "malting" before it is processed. A low alcohol level drink brewed in this fashion is technically identical to "non-alcoholic beer."
The company, which launched a pilot project six months back, focuses on the youth. "We introduced Barbican, a non-alcoholic malt-based beverage, in select Indian markets," a senior company official told IANS.
As part of the pilot, Barbican is imported and available at around 3,000 select outlets across metropolitan cities.
The recent foray is part of Coca-Cola's plan to introduce more healthier options in the F&B segment in India. The launch became possible after Coca-Cola acquired 50 percent stake in Middle East-based Aujan Industries' beverages division.
At present, the company offers a range of beverages, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Thums Up, Fanta, Limca and Sprite.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken and Kingfisher have already entered this market segment to target the vast untapped market of non-alcohol drinkers in India.
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