Sunday, August 27, 2006

'Pepsi, Coke Or Me'

In America, your hostess may soon ask you the question 'Pepsi, Coke or water?' - the way health-conscious population is getting averse to the colas. Because of wide prevalence of obesity, people are preferring plain water - fully sterilized and of course free from pesticides.A joke prevalent in the corporate world is about the naughty question a secretary asks her boss after a hectic day - 'Tea , Coffe or me?'. The question is more appropriate in Europe, China and India where tea-drinking is so common that it is an integral part of many social functions. In USA the cola-guzzling being high, the question could have been altered to 'Pepsi, Coke or me?' with no pun intended.
There has been, however, a coup of sorts. Quitely, bottled water sales have been shooting through the roof while the sales of colas have lost their steam.As per estimate of US-based Earth Policy Institute, global consumption of bottled water rose by 57% between 1999 and 2004 to 154 billion litres. The share of USA is 26 billion litres and of India is 5.1 billion litres. In UK it is estimated by a research agency that the business of bottled water will rise to 2 billion pounds with a volume of 3 billion litres.
Reading the writing on the wall, Tata Tea has acquired 30% shares at $677 million of Glaceau - the brand owners of Fruitwater, Smartwater and Vitaminwater in USA. These are bottled waters enriched with electrolytes and other nutrients. The bottled water market is growing @10% in USA whereas the colas have reported a meagre .2% growth. Tata Tea knows where the Sun is rising and where it is setting.You can bet your bottom dollar - Tata Tea is going to hit the jackpot!

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