Pepsi, Coke Off Small Shops In TN As Traders Call Boycott

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Chennai: Pepsi and Coca Cola Products have started going off smaller shops in Tamil Nadu as leading unions of traders went ahead with a boycott of “foreign” brands to promote locals ones.

Trade Leaders asked shopkeepers to promote home-grown brands like Kali Mark, Bovonto and Torino to increase supplies and offer an alternative to the two big global cola brands.

They alleged that these companies are exploiting the water bodies in Tamil Nadu to manufacture aerated drinksThyagarajan, Manager of Annai Pazhamudhir Cholai, “We have stopped selling videshi brands like Coke and Pepsi since Jallikattu protest. We want to promote local brands.”

There are 20 lakh shops affiliated with nine trade unions and most of the shops affiliated to these unions have decided not to sell the brands starting today. However, supermarkets and hotels will continue to sell these products.

A.M. Vikrama Raja, President, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu (TNVSP), had said, “We will start a campaign among our members and the public against the foreign brands. From March 1, we will sell only domestic cold drink brands.”

“This is not a ban but a request to the members not to deal with the two most prominent MNCs,” Raja said.

The TNVSP is an umbrella body of around 6,000 traders’ associations with a total membership of around 15 lakh across the state.

The Indian Beverage Association (IBA), in a statement on Wednesday evening, said that it was deeply disappointed by the call to boycott products manufactured by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo India.

“This call is against the proven fundamentals of robust economic growth, and against the clarion call of “Make in India”. The boycott call also violates the rights of the consumer to exercise choice,” the statement further read.

Earlier, Raja had said Bovonto was now available across the state while Torino was confined to the southern parts of Tamil Nadu. “When there is demand, the brand owners will beef up their supply chain and retailers will go for them,” he added.

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