(Yicai Global) June 20 -- Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest soft drinks maker, has launched its first herbal tea drink in the Chinese mainland.
Made with selfheal, the tea is produced in Hong Kong by HealthWorks and sells in 500-milliliter bottles on Tmall at CNY12 (USD1.80) each, China News Agency magazine China News Weekly reported yesterday.
Selfheal has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticoagulation properties, and reduces blood viscosity and improves microcirculation.
Coca-Cola decided to enter the Chinese mainland market for herbal teas to meet its ‘omni-category drink’ strategy, the report said, citing an executive at the US-based company.
Wanglaoji, China’s dominant herbal tea drink brand, markets a similar beverage in the same volume for just CNY4 (60 US cents).
The market share of the second, third, and fourth-biggest herbal tea makers combined is less than 60 percent of that of Wanglaoji, according to Zhu Danpeng, a food industry analyst. Thanks to Cola-Cola’s existing supply chain, brand image, and diversified business, it will likely become one of the top market players.
Herbal tea originates in China's subtropical zone, where locals extract essences from herbs that can help the body cope with a hot and humid climate. It was added to the first list of China's national intangible cultural heritage in 2006, which was coincidentally the same year that Coca-Cola acquired HealthWorks.
Editor: Futura Costaglione