Birmingham, Alabama-based Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED—which is the parent company of local bottler, Coca-Cola Baton Rouge—has been awarded expanded territory rights by The Coca-Cola Co. that will more than double the company’s size.
The new territories include Alexandria, Monroe, New Iberia, New Orleans and Shreveport in Louisiana, as well as Natchez, Mississippi; Tallahassee, Florida; and Valdosta, Georgia. Coca-Cola Baton Rouge President Paul Favaron will oversee the entire Louisiana-Mississippi territory under the new agreement.Coca-Cola Baton Rouge spokesperson Melanie Clark says the strategy behind granting such a large territory to Coca-Cola Bottling UNITED is to create a more locally managed beverage system, where there are more contiguous territories and a better business model to serve customers in those areas. That said, local retailers and consumers will likely not notice much change in day-to-day operations.
“Coca-Cola UNITED has a local business model, working closely with our customers to serve their needs,” Clark says. “This transition will allow for the state of Louisiana to be managed under that local business model and be better served.”
Though the Baton Rouge bottler will now be part of a much larger organization, Clark says the company will maintain its commitment to the local community.
“It is part of our DNA as a company to be involved in our local communities,” she says. “That business model is the model we will use going forward, regardless of what the size and scope of the local company will be.”
The territories Coca-Cola UNITED is assuming were previously owned by Coca-Cola Refreshments, which is an arm of the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company.