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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Coca-Cola May Produce Kvas Drink

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling, the world's second-largest bottler of Coke beverages, may team up with an international or a Russian beverage company to produce a national drink, kvas, Kommersant reported, citing company spokesmen.

Coca-Cola HBC held talks at the end of last year with Efes Breweries International over bottling the drink and no final agreement has yet been reached, the newspaper said, citing Efes-Russia spokesman Kirill Ustinov.

The company first plans to use the production facilities of a partner and will decide on whether to continue after analyzing the drink's sales, the daily said, citing an unidentified person at Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola HBC also aims to buy Russian and Ukrainian water companies to capitalize on consumers' changing tastes. The beverage maker has been seeking more water purchases in former Soviet countries to tap growth that is stronger than in Western Europe and become less dependent on sodas. Coca-Cola HBC bought six water and juice companies in the last two years including Russian juice maker Multon, acquired in 2005 with Coca-Cola.

"Consumers in Russia are adopting more Western consumption patterns and are hungry for more types and variety of products," said George Toulantas, a spokesman for the Greek company.

Coca-Cola HBC has also been in talks with brewing company InBev and beverage producers Borodino and Polyustrovo, Kommersant said, without citing anyone.