Coke - Reaping the Benefits of Going Rural*



Case Code : CLCB002
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Consumer Behavior
Industry : -
Length : 04 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Coca-Cola India, Coke, Pepsi, Chota Coke, Going Rural, Hub and spoke distribution, Distribution Network, Aamir Khan, Urban focused drink and Target consumer segment.


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The caselet, 'Coke: Reaping the Benefits of Going Rural' takes a look at the challenges Coca-Cola India faced with the saturation of its primary market of urban India. The company was left with no choice but to look at developing the rural India market. The caselet describes the ways in which the company developed innovative mechanisms in distribution, promotion, and pricing to attract the rural population and how these strategies proved successful in attracting the rural segment.


How marketers can address the issue of market expansion after saturation in urban areas
Customizing products and promotions depending on the target segment
Innovative methods of developing distribution channels


Coca-Cola (Coke), one of the most admired companies in the world, re-entered India in 1993. It had been ousted in 1977, due to differences with the then Indian government.

Post 1993, Coke tried to establish itself in the Indian market where Pepsi, which entered India with a joint venture in 1988, had already established its strong hold.

Although the volumes in the soft drink market increased by 76%, from 5670 million bottles in 1998 to 10,000 million bottles in 2002, both the cola giants faced stagnation in sales...

Questions for Discussion:

1. Compare and contrast Coke and Pepsi's rural marketing strategy?

2. Why did rural markets gain importance among cola marketers?