Soft (cold) drink were considered middle-class oriented products. The division is no longer true. Except for those who cannot afford to buy a beer, everybody drinks soft and aerated drinks. According to an NCAER report, the lower, middle, and upper middle classes account for 91 percent of soft drink sales. The soft drink industry has been encouraging the government to classify aerated waters (soft drinks) in the same way as other mass-market consumer goods and eliminate the special excise tax. Coca-Cola, the world's largest beverage company, was present in India for a long time in partnership with an Indian manufacturer before being kicked out in the late 1970s. It reappeared in India during the economic liberalisation period, but only after its competitor, the world's number two, had already made a huge splash after a long and arduous fight against domestic producers.
When Coca-Cola re-entered the market, it set a new standard. It purchased Parle, India's most successful player. Since then, it's essentially been a fight between the two American behemoths. Others are auxiliary to the two MNCs and play a minor part. Cadbury Schweppes, the world's third largest beverage company, had also entered, but was absorbed by Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola bought the bottling plants, the distribution network, and the proven customer demand during the industry build-up when it bought Parle products. The brands became a hindrance to the global brand's success. Coca-Cola did not market labels (such as Thumps Up) because it was uninterested in them. In the short term, this resulted in a market share deficit to the rival. Coca-Cola wanted to sell the Parle brands more successfully. It had Coke, Thumps Up, Limca, and Fanta in its arsenal.
The 50-billion-rupee soft drink industry is now rising at a rate of 6 to 7% every year. Coke and Pepsi have a total market share of approximately 95% in India, either directly or by franchisees. Campa Cola owns 1% of the business, with the remainder distributed among local players. Fake goods, according to industry observers, account for a significant portion of the balance. There are approximately 110 soft drink manufacturing units in the region, with approximately 125,000 people employed (60 percent of whom are owned by Indian bottlers). Cola and non-cola beverages are two separate segments of the industry. Cola has a 62 percent market share, while non-cola beverages contain juice, pure lime, murky lime, and drinks with citrus and mango flavours. In India, the April-June quarter accounts for the bulk of soft drink sales. This, along with the fact that the majority of soft drink intake in India happens on the go or outside the house, and at a time when a large number of foodservice outlets were closed, just helped to complicate the soft drinks industry's situation in 2020. By 2025, volume in the Soft Drinks market is forecast to reach 6,376.3ML. In 2022, the Soft Drinks category is forecast to rise by 4.3 percent in terms of volume. In 2021, the average volume consumption per person in the Soft Drinks market is estimated to be 4.1 L. In the last few decades, the Indian soft/cold drink manufacturing industry has come a long way. With just a few Indian companies in the 1970s and 1980s, the industry saw many multinationals, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi, re-enter the market in the 1990s. Since then, a number of Indian and international multinational corporations have attempted to gain a foothold in the rapidly expanding industry. Today, India is a crucial market for numerous players looking to establish a powerful beverage brand. The Indian soft/cold drink manufacturing industry is one of the fastest growing in the world, thanks to a number of macroeconomic factors that encourage rapid expansion.
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