Limca — Lime & Lemoni
It is the strength of the brand that despite indifferent support for some years, Limca has managed to hold its own.
S Vejay Anand
Ramesh Chauhan of Parle contacted his friends at Duke’s with the idea for a ‘veri veri lime & lemoni’ drink. He had asked for the recipe for their lemon drink, pledging not to make it again, but had been denied.
He created & perfected the recipe. Thus, the drink was born in 1977's.
Many Indians look back fondly on the days when Parle was synonymous with Gluco Biscuits. They made an orange drink called “Gold Spot” in an attempt to get into the beverage market, and then “lime “ seemed like the next logical step.
Indians have a deep affection for nimbu, nimbu paani, and nimbu soda (lemon, lemonade and lemon soda).
Considering how popular Nimbu Paani was, many competitors were placing large bets on similar flavours, therefore Parle’s lime drink needed to be distinctive in appearance, flavour, and reputation to succeed.
At that point, the Chauhans had acquired Bisleri. A loss was being accrued. As a result, the Chauhan family established Limca inside Bisleri. They originally planned to name it Lemonade, and they discussed many branding options. Since the lemon flavour faded when exposed to light, a green bottle was preferred.
There were no green bottles available, though. So they came up with a product using micro-encapsulation to create a foggy beverage.
The Chauhans approached the advertising agency ASP, and the team developing this product or brand was led by K Kurian (who later founded Radeus).
Their catchy brand name was Limboo/Lemboo, which is the local term for lime in the Indian state of Maharashtra. They came up with the name Limca, which is a play on Limboo Ka.
It was also suggested that the brand be positioned as cutting-edge, fashionable, and entertaining, with the well-to-do being the bulk of the consumer base.
In the past, when bottled water wasn’t widely accessible, people turned to soft drinks to satisfy their thirst. Plus, every other fizzy drink advertises a good time. The positioning, therefore, was “Thirst Choice,” which comes from the advantage the brand provides.
Since Parle had already invested much in growth ambitions and in building up bottling operations for Limca and Gold Spot, the downturn in the cold drinks industry after the emergency period in 1975 made it difficult for the firm to stay afloat.
Coca-Cola only returned to Indian markets once liberalisation and globalisation occurred in the 1990s, and the company quickly bought up local brands like Parle and Limca as a result.
Since its inception in the 1970s as “Pyaas bujhaane wali limca” (thirst-quenching limca), Limca has been associated with sharing the delight of freshness. The drink likely will always have a particular place in our hearts and, of course, our refrigerators.
In 2022, Coca-Cola India made history by announcing the launch of ‘Limca Sportz,’ an expansion of the popular Indian soft drink brand Limca into the hydration sports drinks market. Limca has been a staple in the nation for decades, and its unrivalled ability to make people feel revitalised is legendary.
The new “Limca Sportz” product is a Glucose + Electrolyte drink with key minerals for speedy hydration. It’s a water-based drink with no carbonation, so it rehydrates people quickly after they’ve been active in sports, exercise, or strenuous manual labour. The addition of fresh lemon juice enhances the flavour and freshness.
In FY21, Limca made a total of Rs 2,061 crore in sales, which shows how popular the brand is. After more than half a century in the market, this product is now Coca-Cola India’s #4 effervescent brand.
Originally published at https://onlykutts.com on January 17, 2023.
S Vejay Anand
CXO, mentor, consultant, entrepreneur, executive, columnist, husband, father, son, politically aware and neutral, herbivore, pro animal life