PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Fight Patriotism in Drought-Hit Indian State

PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Fight Patriotism in Drought-Hit Indian State.
Shopkeepers in drought-hit Kerala state decided Wednesday to promote local brands over Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. beverages after counterparts in neighboring Tamil Nadu boycotted the multinational drinks.
“The root cause for the boycott isn’t the multinational companies, but the enduring fight between industrial users and farmers, especially in several drought-hit states,” said P.L.
India has at least 50 local drink brands, which are typically 20 percent cheaper than the global cola brands, brokerage Kotak Securities Ltd. said in a Feb. 23 report.
The association said it’s “deeply disappointed” with Kerala retailers’ call to boycott the the beverages since it hampers consumer choice, and said both companies use less than 0.5 percent of the water used by all industries in India, according to an emailed statement Wednesday.
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo provide employment to 2,000 families in Tamil Nadu and help support more than 200,000 retailers, the association said.
“There is a political overtone to the boycott,” said Ramu Manivannan, a political analyst and head of the politics department at University of Madras in the Tamil Nadu capital, Chennai.
PepsiCo sought police protection for water being brought to a plant in southern Tamil Nadu in 2015.
Most companies share water with farms, which employ about half of India’s 1.3 billion people and contribute 18 percent of the $2 trillion economy.
Agriculture gets the lion’s share, leaving industrial users to fight with municipal water suppliers for the precious resource.

Learn More