BENGALURU (Diya TV) — A powerful group of Tamil Nadu traders announced they’ll begin a boycott of Pepsi and Coke products on March 1, instead asking shop owners to stock and promote homegrown brands like Kali Mark, Bovonto and Torino.

The boycott, oddly enough, was spurred by the mass mobilization of the nation’s youth against the Indian Supreme Court’s ruling that outlawed the Jallikattu festival, the traditional bull-taming sport.

“After the Jallikattu movement, we found many youths are not in favor of the two cola brands,” A.M. Vikrama Raja, president, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu, told IANS. However, he failed to explain how the correlation between the two was made.

“We will start a campaign among our members and the public against the foreign brands. From March 1, we will sell only domestic cold drink brands,” Raja said.

The TNVSP is a conglomerate of around 6,000 traders’ associations with a total membership of around 15 lakh across the state. Raja said Bovonto was now available across the state while Torino could still only be found in the southern-most parts of Tamil Nadu. Chennai shopkeepers said they are aware of the traders’ boycott decision.

“We have to abide by our association’s decision. We have stopped reordering Pepsi and Coke stocks. But we will have to liquidate existing stocks,” R.K. Angamuthu, owner of Sree Angalaparameswari Stores in Mylapore in south Chennai, told IANS.

The announcement of the boycott alerted the Indian Beverages Association.

The body’s secretary general, Arvind Verma, said the association was “deeply disappointed” to hear the announcement the traders were taking. “The proposed call is not just against the interest of the farmers, traders and retailers, it also undermines the role the industry can play in economic growth and development,” he said.

Verma said that both Coca-Cola India and PepsiCo India, who employ Indian-American chief executive Indra Nooyi, have made enormous contributions to the Indian economy. The two companies provide 350,000 jobs, and work to improve the lives and environments for the country’s 500,000 agriculture workers, as well as India’s four million retailers.

“IBA is open to engage with any organization that has a diverse point of view,” Verma said.

“In the interim, we urge individuals and organizations not to be misled by rumors and spread of misinformation. We hope good sense will prevail and normalcy will be restored soon in this matter.”

Regardless, hotels in Coimbatore have reportedly already begun boycotting Pepsi and Coke products.

Consumer companies such as Coca Cola rely heavily on lower price points for country’s such as India, where the average daily household incomes are just under $2.50. In 2014, Coke began exploring a pilot program named “splash bar,” a kiosk where the vendor dispenses small, 80-150ml cups of Sprite, Thumbs Up, or Fanta, starting at Rs 5. The program began in rural Gujarat with 31 bars, and eventually evolved to 30,000 splash bars, selling over 1.5 million cups daily, a company spokesperson said.

It’s an experiment the company had once undertaken in the past — in the early 2000s, Coke launched a 200ml bottle named Chhota Coke priced at Rs5. The program was suspended in 2006 due to the price point of transportation and packaging costs. A 200ml bottle now costs Rs12, or $0.18.