Coca-Cola set to acquire minority stake in Thrive

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Coca-Cola is set to acquire a minority stake in Thrive, a food search and delivery platform that has partnerships with over 5,500 restaurants and competes directly with Swiggy and Zomato.

According to executives with direct knowledge of the development, this will be Coca-Cola’s first investment in an Indian startup. But they couldn’t put a price tag on the transaction.

“The strategic investment will give Coca-Cola a distinct advantage over competitors, as it will push consumers to order only Coca-Cola beverages alongside the food orders they place on the Thrive app, help them customise orders, sell package deals and meal combinations, and push loyalty codes,” one of the executives said.

In late 2021, Domino’s operator Jubilant FoodWorks purchased a 35% stake in Thrive for approximately Rs 24.75 crore, claiming that the move would allow it to push direct deliveries to consumers and gain access to consumer data.

So far, Coca-Cola — which sells packaged Coke and Thums Up aerated drinks, Minute Maid juices, Georgia coffee and Kinley water — has only chosen exclusive global partnerships, such as the one with fast food chain McDonald’s, which sells only Coca-Cola beverages at its locations.

Coca-Cola India did not respond to a request for comment. Dhruv Dewan, co-founder of Hashtag Loyalty, which runs ThriveNow, also declined to comment.

“Because Thrive has a large base of mid-sized restaurant partners offering diverse cuisines, Coca-Cola’s stake acquisition will drive consumer engagement for the beverage maker with both restaurants and consumers, as well as provide access to consumer data.” Thums Up, for example, complements Indian spicy cuisine, while Maaza mango drink can be promoted in restaurants geared towards children,” the executive added.Coca-Cola has promoted associations and pairings with meals and food as one of its core strategies to increase consumption occasions, according to Sanket Ray, Coca-Cola president, India and SouthWest Asia, in a recent earnings call.

Coca-Cola launched its global meals platform, Coke is Cooking, in India in September last year, beginning with Kolkata, to encourage consumers to order its beverages alongside food from restaurants.

Arnab Roy, Coca-Cola vice-president, head of marketing, India and SouthWest Asia, told ET at the time that the company sees a huge opportunity to drive consumption with food pairings in India. “The majority of Coca-Cola brand consumption occurs over food. McDonald’s is the most obvious example. “If you go to McDonald’s, chances are the food will be paired with Coke,” Roy had stated.

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Coca-Cola set to acquire minority stake in Thrive

Coca-Cola is set to acquire a minority stake in Thrive, a food search and delivery platform that has partnerships with over 5,500 restaurants and competes directly with Swiggy and Zomato.

According to executives with direct knowledge of the development, this will be Coca-Cola’s first investment in an Indian startup. But they couldn’t put a price tag on the transaction.

“The strategic investment will give Coca-Cola a distinct advantage over competitors, as it will push consumers to order only Coca-Cola beverages alongside the food orders they place on the Thrive app, help them customise orders, sell package deals and meal combinations, and push loyalty codes,” one of the executives said.

In late 2021, Domino’s operator Jubilant FoodWorks purchased a 35% stake in Thrive for approximately Rs 24.75 crore, claiming that the move would allow it to push direct deliveries to consumers and gain access to consumer data.

So far, Coca-Cola — which sells packaged Coke and Thums Up aerated drinks, Minute Maid juices, Georgia coffee and Kinley water — has only chosen exclusive global partnerships, such as the one with fast food chain McDonald’s, which sells only Coca-Cola beverages at its locations.

Coca-Cola India did not respond to a request for comment. Dhruv Dewan, co-founder of Hashtag Loyalty, which runs ThriveNow, also declined to comment.

“Because Thrive has a large base of mid-sized restaurant partners offering diverse cuisines, Coca-Cola’s stake acquisition will drive consumer engagement for the beverage maker with both restaurants and consumers, as well as provide access to consumer data.” Thums Up, for example, complements Indian spicy cuisine, while Maaza mango drink can be promoted in restaurants geared towards children,” the executive added.Coca-Cola has promoted associations and pairings with meals and food as one of its core strategies to increase consumption occasions, according to Sanket Ray, Coca-Cola president, India and SouthWest Asia, in a recent earnings call.

Coca-Cola launched its global meals platform, Coke is Cooking, in India in September last year, beginning with Kolkata, to encourage consumers to order its beverages alongside food from restaurants.

Arnab Roy, Coca-Cola vice-president, head of marketing, India and SouthWest Asia, told ET at the time that the company sees a huge opportunity to drive consumption with food pairings in India. “The majority of Coca-Cola brand consumption occurs over food. McDonald’s is the most obvious example. “If you go to McDonald’s, chances are the food will be paired with Coke,” Roy had stated.

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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