The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Coca-Cola, Pepsi add fizz to puja pandals

New Delhi, Oct. 12: You can miss a puja here and there but if you are a true blue pandal hopper, it will be difficult to miss the presence of the cola majors in the Calcutta Puja.

Here are the numbers: Coca-Cola has tied up with 505 puja pandals in West Bengal out of which 338 are in Calcutta alone. Arch rival Pepsi is present in 66 pandals in Calcutta and Howrah. Besides, it has tied up with 250 puja pandals in West Bengal.

Some of the pujas in Calcutta where Coke will have its presence include Ekdalia Park, Maddox Square, Park Circus, Santosh Mitra Square, Bose Pukur, Telengabagan, Gouribari, Shastribagan Sporting Club on VIP Road and Sandhani in Beliaghata.

Some of the prominent Puja pandals with which Pepsi has tied up include the ones at Maddox Square, Ekdalia, Babu Bagan, Mohd. Ali Park, Santosh Mitra Square, College Square and Sreebhumi (So at some pujas the twain has met!)

Both Coke and Pepsi are providing vending points inside and outside the pandals. Other merchandising would be through glow signs, pillars, banners, hoardings etc. The nature of the tieups with the puja pandals are either by sponsorship or profit-sharing, said a Coke spokesperson. However, both Coke and Pepsi refused to divulge the moolah they are spending in the puja promotions.

And when all that pandal hopping makes you thirsty, the PET bottles of Coke and Pepsi will come at discounted price during the pujas. The 500 ml bottle which comes at Rs 18 can be had for Rs 15 and the 2-litre bottle priced at Rs 50 will be priced at Rs 43. Coke is down pricing its 1.5-litre bottle from Rs 43 to Rs 35. The promotional prices are valid for the pujas only. Pepsi is also introducing a tetra pack version of its fruit pulp based drink Slice in Calcutta and also a 1-litre size PET bottle for its fizz drinks. These were already available elsewhere in the country though.

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