By  Swineetha Dias Wickramanayaka

Soft drinks giants Nestle, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are developing ice tea products to break into a new market place in tropical Sri Lanka this summer.

The three will join Hindustan Lever, which has already launched its Lipton Ice brand. Nestle is product testing in select markets, while both Pepsi and Coca-Cola have approached Tata Tea for supplies of instant tea, Tata sources have told the island's press.

Tata Tea has the largest instant tea factory outside the US, in Mannar province, currently a 100 per cent export-oriented unit catering mainly to the American market. A spokesman said Tata had no immediate plans to enter the Sri Lankan ice tea market.