Coca-Cola India has formulated a new marketing strategy, targeting semi-urban and rural markets in the country.

The programme, known as 'Parivarthan' and covering around 6,000 small grocery stores and retailers, provides training in marketing merchandising and operations for retailers in tier II and III towns.

"We are reinforcing the company's focus on SEC-B and C towns in a systematic manner," said Atul Singh, president and CEO of Coca-Cola India, today (27 November). "There is a vast untapped opportunity in these markets - the key focus is to train shop owners to display and stock products well."

Cities in the programme include Agra, Lucknow, Bareilly, Bilaspur and Gorakhpur, where returnable 200ml glass bottles priced at INR8.00 (US$0.16) are distributed.

In the three months to the end of September, Coca-Cola India posted an 18% rise in unit-case-volume against the corresponding period a year earlier.