Recently we talked about how through rigorous product testing McDonald’s launched a hit product in India — the McSpicy Paneer.Now for an example of how product launches go wrong.
PepsiCo introduced its no-sugar cola, Pepsi Max, in India last summer. The soda was widely distributed and supposed to be the backbone of a major ad campaign and corporate expansion.
A year later, however, you can’t find Pepsi Max in stores, and both campaign and expansion have been canceled.
Indians simply don’t like the taste, according to the Economic Times:
“Max was trying to fit in somewhere between Coca-Cola’s high-fizz drink Thums Up and a diet option. Consumers simply rejected the taste,” a company insider says, requesting anonymity.
And they aren’t excited about diet products:
But the Indian buyer is not walking her talk on healthy food habits. Sugar-free juices and ice creams have not gained market and fast food giant McDonald’s doesn’t feel the need to introduce healthier foods like salads in India because “the Indian consumer’s health habits haven’t yet evolved”.
Despite being in India for almost a decade, diet colas contribute less than 2% to overall cola sales; 100% juices are still lagging behind sugary ones by a wide margin, and pizza chains like Domino’s are beating sales targets.
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