Yenna Sir! Ban Coke, Pepsi? And Drink What? Torino And Bovonto!

Yenna Sir! Ban Coke, Pepsi? And Drink What? Torino And Bovonto!

There are several small traders who stock these soft drinks and some of them told TOI that the association forced them not to stock the popular cola brands.

Of the 23 shops that The Hindu visited in places including Pondy Bazaar, R.A Puram, Thyagarya Nagar, Guindy, Triplicane, Chintadripet, Egmore and Greames Road, 20 shops did have Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

Petitioner DA Prabhakar had claimed that since the river provides water for drinking and irrigation in two districts, the farmers were suffering from Pepsi and Coke using the water for commercial gain. "Or they will also face such a situation soon", he said.

"During the Jallikattu protest, we saw many youngsters talking against foreign products and we figured out that we have public support", said Vellaiyan, the head of Tamil Nadu Traders Federation. The Company owns or licenses and markets over 500 nonalcoholic beverage brands, primarily sparkling beverages but also a range of still beverages, such as waters, enhanced waters, juices and juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas and coffees, and energy and sports drinks. "Once we clear the stock, we will take a call on what to do", said Arunachalam, proprietor of a small grocery store at Porur. "Still, we are getting more inquiries from dealers on our other soft drinks, like ginger beer, cloudy lemon, orange and panneer", said M Lakshmi Narayanan, marketing manager at Kalimark, a popular domestic brand. A majority of the colleges in Coimbatore have stopped sales of the drinks in their canteens.

However, it is unclear how numerous state's 20 lakh (2 million) retailers will join the call.

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In response, the IBA, which represents Coca-Cola's and PepsiCo's Indian subsidiaries, said today that the call for a boycott was "anti-consumer, anti-competition" and went against the interests of Indian workers.

The ruling came a day after a majority of 1.5 million retail outlets in drought-hit Tamil Nadu stopped selling products made by the two companies, heeding a call by a local traders association.

The Indian Beverages Association (IBA) has expressed concern. Instead, they have asked retailers to stock up on local brands such as Kalimark's Bovonto, Amrutanjan's Frutnik, and Parle's Frooti.

Raja had earlier said that the traders were opposed to the cola giants not because they were part of an MNC conglomerate but due to their "toxic nature".

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