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Coke, Pepsi feel fizz of boycott across Tamil Nadu

Chennai: Thousands of shops across Tamil Nadu began a boycott of Coca-Cola and Pepsi from Wednesday morning in a move to boost local manufacturers. A prolonged boycott could cause a loss of Rs 1,400 crore to the soft drink majors.

Echoing their protest against selling drinks from the foreign majors and supporting the ban called for by common people, many retailers and wholesalers have stopped procuring and supplying the colas of the multi-national companies.

“The demand from the masses has come down. Many prefer Bovonto, Kalimark, and Torino. I have seen kids asking their parents to not buy Coke, but plump for these home grown brands. Parents, who come here as consumers, ask for the state brands too as their kids have stopped the consumption of Pepsi and Coke,” wholesaler and retailer VP Mani said.

“We used to sell 20 cases of Coke per day (one case has 24 bottles) and now we have stopped the procurement completely and are going through the old stock. Distributors of Coca-Cola themselves have told us that their sales have fallen by 60-70 percent,” the proprietor of VPM traders said, adding that the sale of the Tamil Nadu brands has seen a rise.

All 2,500 members of the Triplicane Merchants Association have stopped procuring Pepsi and Coca-Cola, and are selling stocks only till they last.

As traders and wholesalers have put an end to procurement, the retailers have not been supplying the same. “We have not taken a stand on the same but there is barely any supply,” said a local retailer. Some traders are not sure how the demand and supply chain will work and so are waiting till the stocks finish.

“The sales have been dwindling, but as Bovonto and other brands are selling well, it shouldn’t be a problem in the coming days”, said a wholesaler. A spokesperson for Coca-Cola told Deccan Chronicle, “It is too early to say about the difference in sales due to the ban from Tamil Nadu traders.”

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