Britvic aims for slow build in India launch

British soft drink maker Britvic plans to be in 25,000 stores around India in the next three months as it makes its entry into the Asian market, senior executives said.

The company has launched its flagship Robinsons Fruit Shoot drinks in India, its first Asian market, to compete with existing player Real from Dabur India.

"There's opportunity to develop our brands in India because of the accelerating middle class and also because the kids' drinks category has not seen much innovation and is largely driven by tetrapacks," Britvic International managing director Simon Stewart told Reuters in an interview.

Britvic is launching Fruit Shoot drinks in 10 Indian cities to begin with and plans to tie up with mom-and-pop stores as well as large retail chains to promote the brand.

Stewart said the company was planning to launch in other Asian markets within the next 12 months, but did not spell out details.

Manish Gupta, the company's general manager in India, said it aimed to be in 25,000 stores within three months.

"It's a slow build - we're a large country," he said.

Britvic, which also makes drinks such as Tango as well as PepsiCo brands Pepsi and 7UP in Britain and Ireland, recently launched Fruit Shoot in the United States.

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