Local Chinese brand takes on Coke, Pepsi

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BEIJING -- Wahaha Group Corp, one of China's largest soft drink manufacturers, has launched a sales campaign for its new carbonated drink, Future Cola, that is taking on the might of foreign multinationals Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.

Wahaha, headquartered in Hangzhou, capital city of East China's Zhejiang Province, is running an in-store promotion in which consumers who buy two 600 ml bottles of Wahaha mineral water get a free bottle of Future Cola. Future Cola is packaged in 500 ml plastic bottles in a red color similar to that of Coca-Cola.

Sales of the mineral water have been brisk as a result of the promotion. Some consumers who have drunk Future Cola say it tastes good and is similar to Coca-Cola.

Wahaha mineral water has a 20.8% share of the domestic market share in China. The soft drink maker also produces Wahaha brand nutritious milk drinks for children. The launch of the Future Cola is its first move into the carbonated drink market, which has been dominated by foreign brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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