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Share a Coke Expands to Nigeria in Latest Personalized Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 13, 2015 10:58 AM

Share a Coke Nigeria

Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign has gone worldwide, enticing consumers with the ability to see their own or their friends' names replace the logo on a can or bottle of Coke. Since launching in 2011 in Australia, it has been so popular that the campaign is now in more than 50 countries. 

The latest local market launch is Nigeria, featuring 600 names that “have been picked from the rich array of names across the various regions” of the country, according to a press release. If customers can’t find a can or bottle in stores now with the desired name, they will “have the chance to create their own personalized” one during a nationwide activation next month.Continue reading...

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Starbucks Leaves Aussie Coffee-Lovers Feeling Flat

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 12, 2015 01:29 PM

Starbucks Flat White coffee recipe

Along with on-trend salty caramel food items, Starbucks last week introduced a new coffee drink to win more favor (with flavor) among coffee aficionadoes.

The Flat White, described as a double "espresso beverage made w/ ristretto shots, topped w/ a layer of velvety steamed whole milk & finished with a latte art dot," has long been a standard in Australia and New Zealand, and can be found in a handful of indie coffee shops and smaller chains in the US, but the North American rollout takes the drink to a whole new mass audience—and some Aussies and Kiwis aren’t into it.

In fact, the collective dismay by Flat White fans over the product lauch is being called (of course) #flatwhitegate. Continue reading...

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Starbucks, McDonald's Bow to Australia's Coffee Superiority

Posted by Dale Buss on January 5, 2015 03:01 PM

Starbucks Flat White Coffee

Coffee-lovers in America, rejoice. A better brand of brew is coming to you—one that Australians have touted for years as the superior way to enjoy coffee.

Starting on Tuesday, Starbucks will add flat-white coffee to its US menu, which Melburnian Andrew Demaria describes as having "less foam than a latte" and a smaller cup as it introduces a new term to many Americans' coffee lexicon: ristretto, comprising "the first part, about half, of an espresso—the more flavorsome bit of the actual coffee."

Positioned as part of its move to attract more sophisticated coffee-lovers with its high-end Roastery concept, it's also an admission that Australians make a better cup of joe—as Starbucks Australia (which describes its flat white as "slightly stronger than a latte, with steamed milk") would no doubt proudly proclaim.Continue reading...

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The Cup Song Ends: Coca-Cola Calls Off 13-Year 'American Idol' Tie-In

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 17, 2014 02:07 PM

Coca-Cola’s branding has been all over Fox’s American Idol for 13 seasons, from the massive cups visible on the judges’ table to the dizzying background videos when host Ryan Seacrest sits down to have a tête-à-tête with contestants. 

But Coke has finally decided to disengage from the once all-powerful FOX TV show, Variety reports. The show has been losing ratings in recent years and announced this week that the results segments would be completely eliminated; performances and results will now all be in one episode, AmericanIdolnet.com reports.

Apparently, the audition portions are popular enough for the network to keep them around for two nights a week, so the next season will start off with two audition episodes followed by once-weekly showings after that.

All of it will now be without Coke, though the question remains how producers will handle the Coke-emblazoned cups that may have been in front of the judges last summer when they taped the auditions. (Digital product placement insertion, perhaps?)Continue reading...

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Starbucks Goes Back to the Bean in "Big Bet" on Upscale Coffee Lovers

Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2014 03:28 PM

Is the next generation of Starbucks coffee, or not coffee? Well—it's both.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is both doubling down on the brand's identification with coffee expertise and experience, by opening the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle today, as well as accelerating a dramatic expansion of Starbucks' food and beverage menu, its reach into non-traditional departments and its leveraging of digital and mobile technologies.

"We have to maintain the entrepreneurial DNA of the company," Schultz told analysts in outlining his five-year vision at the chain's annual Investor Day in Seattle. "We have to have the constant curiosity to see around corners and see what others don't see, and we have to have the courage and conviction to make big bets."

For one thing, Starbucks now aims to double sales from its food business in the U.S. over the next five years and to become more of a food-and-wine destination in the evenings. The brand's U.S. market target is to double its annual revenue from food to more than $4 billion by fiscal 2019.Continue reading...

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Coca-Cola Celebrates Santa Claus (and Milk, of Course) This Holiday Season

Posted by Dale Buss on November 25, 2014 05:05 PM

In addition to bringing back its beloved holiday icon, Santa Claus, this holiday season, Coca-Cola is trying to "open happiness" with an entirely new kind of beverage: designer milk to go with those cookies for Saint Nick.

Based on the selling points behind the startup brand Core Power that Coke has been distributing for a while, Fairlife milk has 60 percent more protein and 50 percent less sugar than regular milk as well as 30 percent more calcium, Business Insider reports.

In that regard, Fairlife seems like a perfect bit of diversification for the beverage giant, whose sales of regular and even Diet Coke have been sliding for years under greater health scrutiny by consumers and vilification as a major contributor to the world's problem with obesity.

"It's basically the premiumization of milk," Sandy Douglas, a senior vice president at Coca-Cola's North American operation, said last week at an investor conference, according to CBS News.Continue reading...

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Starbucks Plans to Change a Morning Tradition by Testing Delivery

Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2014 02:55 PM

The world still thirsts for coffee, according to the 10 percent rise in Starbucks' third-quarter sales. So why not make it even easier to buy that morning java?

To that end, Starbucks plans to test delivery in the second half of 2015 in certain markets. In those as-yet-unnamed markets, Starbucks will be replacing the iconic morning tableau of long lines and endless vehicles in its drive-throughs with a much more convenient—albeit presumably more expensive—alternative.

"Imagine the ability to create a standing order of Starbucks delivered hot to your desk daily," is how Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz painted the picture on an earnings call with investors. "That's our version of e-commerce on steroids." Continue reading...

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That Sinking Feeling: Coca-Cola Aims to Get More Entrepreneurial to Spark Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2014 04:59 PM

If only Coca-Cola could find a way to extend its "Share a Coke" program for a long time to come. Besides that short-term spark to soda sales, the company didn't have much good news to share—or optimism for the future—along with its quarterly earnings report today.

The beverage giant's revenue actually declined during the third quarter, to less than $12 billion. Its profit fell 14 percent as global soda volume remained flat, reflecting the long-term struggle faced by Coca-Cola and its soft-drink rivals in a pronounced lack of interest in their primary products by more and more health-conscious consumers.

CEO Muhtar Kent also noted that the company is struggling, along with other beverage and consumer packaged goods companies, with currency headwinds and deterioriating economic conditions not only in emerging markets but also in Europe. "This is placing strong pressure on the short-term performance of our business," he said on the company's earnings conference call. He also lowered short- and long-term financial expectations.

But Coca-Cola must keep paddling, so Kent announced a series of initiatives both of the belt-tightening and innovation variety designed to spur growth—somehow. Continue reading...

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