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Coke Plans to Reshape Bottling Industry After Posting Positive First-Quarter

Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2013 04:39 PM

Coca-Cola took one step back a few years ago by acquiring large pieces of its bottling operations. Now the company plans to take two steps forward by handing back big chunks of its bottling system to selected independent bottlers as part of Coke's overall creation of a national bottling and distribution system that will give it far more control over sales, distribution and balancing of its brands.

Specifically, Coke disclosed a rough framework for handing off distribution in certain geographic areas to five established, independent bottlers either through an outright sale, a swap of territory or other arrangements. Closings, after more negotiations, are expected by year-end.

"We are intent to make the necessary changes in the format and architecture of production to achieve ... a coast-to-coast, nationally run production system," Coke CEO Muhtar Kent said on Tuesday's earnings call, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Under the new arrangements, the bottlers will be able to take part in that model by purchasing trucks, coolers and other equipment to distribute the products in their territories, the newspaper said. The national model also will enable Coke to be more responsive to large customers like Walmart because the company can make centralized sales and marketing decisions. PepsiCo similarly concentrated its bottling operations three years ago but Coke has moved first on the next step.Continue reading...

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With Soda Volume Down, Coca-Cola Pushes Teas And Low-Cal Drinks

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 03:23 PM

Coca-Cola just wants to Open Happiness around the world, in keeping with its ongoing marketing theme, including rolling out a Valentine's Day video this week that was shot in New Zealand to thank its multitude of fans. It's just that global consumers haven't been as happy lately to open a Coke.

A slowdown in sales in Europe and China joined essentially stagnant sales in the United States to undermine Coke's fourth-quarter results. Global sales volume rose just three percent even as the beverage giant's earnings rose by 13 percent during the period.

Ongoing struggles in Europe were a main drag, with volume falling by five percent. Even sales in China, another key market, fell by four percent as Chinese consumers increasingly feel crimped. Meanwhile, the U.S., pushing an anemic economic recovery, yielded just a one percent sales gain during the quarter, though CEO Muhtar Kent said on Tuesday's earnings call that the American market "could get better."Continue reading...

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Coke Brews Marketing Blast for Fuze

Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2012 02:57 PM

Having shored up its flagship brand globally with the marketing momentum provided by its London Olympics sponsorship, Coke this fall will turn its attention to a category where it has been lagging -- even behind thirst-slaking archrival PepsiCo: ready-to-drink tea.

Fuze, a better-for-you juice brand that Coke acquired in the same era of diversification that landed it Vitaminwater several years ago, is becoming the recipient of Coke's decision to go harder after the fast-growing mainstream RTD tea segment in the U.S. market when its 20-year-long joint venture with Nestle to market Nestea in the U.S. comes to an end at the beginning of next year.

Independent Arizona leads the rising market with about a 40 percent share, followed by PepsiCo which fields the Brisk brand, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Nestea. Coke would like a much bigger share of tea drinkers than has so far been afforded by its homegrown Gold Peak refrigerated brand and its acquisition of organic-tea expert Honest Tea a few years ago. Continue reading...

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Tropicana's Trop50 Adds Tea to Fruit Juice Line

Posted by Dale Buss on April 27, 2012 11:28 AM

Tropicana's low-cal Trop50 brand has been on a roll lately, and the company is trying to extend this hot sub-brand by invading another segment of the beverage market instead of sticking with juices.

Trop50 Juice with Tea is a fruit-juice and tea mix with "50% less sugar and calories" than regular juice, combining fruit juices with white and green teas, in three flavors. Additionally, Tropicana is introducing a new variety of "regular" Trop50, Red Orange, which provides a full day's supply of vitamin C, and a dose of potassium to boot.

PepsiCo is supporting Trop50 with new TV spots that extend its "Girlfriends" TV campaign starring Jane Krakowski that debuted in Canada.Continue reading...

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Tea Party Ends for Coca-Cola and Nestea

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 20, 2012 10:03 AM

Coca-Cola and Nestle are no longer taking the Nestea Plunge together in America. The two multinationals are dissolving their Beverage Partners Worldwide group, which produces Nestea-branded products, in the United States, Forbes reports, so they can each market their own beverages.Continue reading...

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