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India's ITC to launch new ready-to-drink line

India's ITC Ltd. plans to roll out ready-to-drink, milk-based beverages in October to take on Coca-Cola Co.'s local arm, Anand Milk Union Ltd. and Britannia Industries Ltd., The Economic Times (India) reported Sept. 4, citing ITC Divisional Chief Executive of Foods Hemant Malik.

The Kolkata-based company, which primarily produces tobacco products but also offers ready-to-eat and snack foods, juices and beverages, will launch its new Sunfeast Wonderz product range in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before rolling it out nationwide, the report said.

Malik told the newspaper that ITC sees great potential in the ready-to-drink milk beverages market.

The report added that unlike existing ITC products that use artificial flavors, the new drink line will use real fruit pulp for the milkshakes, which will be manufactured at ITC's new facility in Kapurthala, Punjab.

During the launch of the Kapurthala plant last year, ITC Managing Director Sanjiv Puri disclosed the company's plans to launch the new brand, according to a Mint report in December 2017. At that time, the company has not yet finalized the brand.

The Sunfeast Wonderz drink line has been available for purchase on Inc.'s Indian marketplace since Dec. 31, 2017.