NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Modi’s idea of adding 2% natural juice in the aerated soft drinks at the Start-up India programme here on Saturday has upset the soft drink industry, worried that they may be harassed for this impractical and impossible suggestion.

Though Modi floated the idea saying it would provide farmers a market for their produce, the industry representatives say blending of their patented aerated drinks with the fruit juice will change the taste that may not be acceptable to the consumers.

Besides, they say any addition of juice will radically reduce the shelf life of the fizzy drinks.

Aerated drinks have a shelf life of four to six months, but juices have a shelf life of one to three months at the most.

Addition of more preservatives for higher shelf life will push up the price.

The industry is already worried over the unconfirmed move to hike the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) on colas up to 40%, thought the finance ministry officials say the fears are totally unfounded as the GST is still stuck up in Parliament with no such proposal to tax any particular sector heavily.

Worried that their trademark formula of the soft drinks will be ruined if any fruit juice content is added, the industry leaders have suggested an alternative of producing new variants of carbonated juices.

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