Indian Beverage Association hits out at The Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo boycott

India's leading beverage association expressed disappointment at the proposed ban, saying Coca-Cola and PepsiCo provided direct employment to 2,000 families in the state.

Pepsi and Coke sell a range of products across India, including softdrinks and bottled water, and the boycott proposal in Tamil Nadu could affect more than a million outlets in India's most prosperous state, which is home to almost 70 million people.

An apex body of traders associations in January called for a boycott of soft drinks made by PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt.

"Many shopkeepers do not earn enough even to pay for electricity used to keep the drinks chilled", Mohan said, reflecting the sentiments of several shop owners.

Only an estimated 50% of traders across the State have completely stopped selling soft drinks from the house of Pepsi and Coca Cola. "People buying the drinks have dropped since the traders association announced to boycott the MNC drinks", said a staff member at Nilgiris Super Market in Chennai. The associations have called on traders to stock Indian brands instead. In Salem, shopkeepers stopped selling Aquafina too, a drinking water brand from PepsiCo. Some supermarket chains have said they will continue to stock Coca-Cola and Pepsi brands if demand persists, media reports say.

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In case of Jallikattu, a big argument against its ban was that organisations like the Indian wing of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was supporting it because it was funded by foreign entities.

"We have appealed to traders to stop selling products from Coke and Pepsi from today to make this campaign a success".

"After the jallikattu movement, we found many youths are not in favour of the two cola brands", AM Vikrama Raja, President, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu (TNVSP), told IANS earlier.

They are stressing on looking of local alternatives - a move that is bound to promote home-grown businesses and products. "IBA is open to engage with any organisation that has a diverse point of view". "The companies also sustain the interests of thousands of Tamil farmers, by procuring agri-produce".

  • Tabitha Byrd