* Aims for bigger share in China’s juice market
* Coke won’t rule out future acquisitions in China
(Adds more quotes, background)
SHANGHAI, July 10 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co KO.N may introduce its own pure fruit juice brand in China which will compete with the country's top juice maker Huiyuan Juice 1886.HK, a senior executive said on Friday.
“Since we weren’t able to acquire that company, we are reassessing what our strategy would be so that we could be a bigger juice player ... in China,” said Joseph Tripodi, Coca-Cola’s chief marketing and commercial officer.
“There are many options and we are in the process of looking at these options,” he told Reuters in an interview in Shanghai.
Regulators rejected in March a $2.4 billion bid by Coke for China’s top juice maker Huiyuan, blocking what would have been the largest-ever takeover of a Chinese firm by a foreign rival. [nHKG367771]
Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, may bring to China overseas brands such as Simply Orange or Cappy, or develop pure juice under the Minute Maid brand in China, Tripodi said.
“We’re very comfortable that Simply is a great brand and we could take the brand around the world if we want to,” he said. “We could decide to bring Cappy to China, I don’t know.”
Coca-Cola had said it was disappointed the Chinese government rejected the Huiyuan deal.
“One of the reasons we wanted to buy the company is that it’s a very good company, it has a lot of loyal customers; and yes, we now have to compete with them,” Tripodi said.
Tripodi would not rule out the possibility of future acquisitions in China, but said he was not aware of any new talks at the moment.
He is in Shanghai to kick off a new marketing campaign in China for Coke called “Open Happiness”, which was first launched in the United States in February and has been rolling globally.
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Alison Leung)
((email@example.com; +86 10 6627 1201; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))
((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to email@example.com)) Keywords: COCACOLA/CHINA
C Reuters 2009. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution ofReuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expresslyprohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuterssphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group ofcompanies around the world.nHKG22913
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.