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No fizz left:Tamil Nadu traders not to sell Coke, Pepsi and other MNC brands from March 1

Traders in Tamil Nadu have said that starting March 1, they will not sell soft drink and mineral water brands of multinational companies. Instead, the traders will encourage Indian brands.

In an interview with The Hindu, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaipu president AM Vikramaraja said the whole of February would be spent on educating traders and consumers about “the evils of these foreign brands”.

“They cause more harm than good to the body. Only recently, one of the brands admitted to the fact that it was not suitable for children and that it contained certain harmful chemicals,” said Vikramaraja.

The association has been trying to stop sales of products manufactured by Kinley (the company that manufactures Coca Cola) and PepsiCo since 1998, but were unsuccessful because of the demand from customers.

However, during the Jallikattu protests, youngsters sought a ban on these soft drinks as they draw our groundwater and take the profits outside the country. “Encouraged by that, we are taking this campaign forward,” added Vikramaraja.

Apart from soft drinks, the Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Employees Welfare Association said they would not sell milk manufactured by a particular MNC.

According to data collected by market research firm AC Nielsen, Coca Cola and PepsiCo control approximately 80 per cent of the soft drink market in India. In October 2016, Coca Cola announced that sales of their soft drink products had dropped by four per cent, thanks to the introduction of non-fizzy healthy beverages in the market.