For Coca-Cola, 2017 was unquestionably a year of evolution. New leadership, a new growth strategy, new brands, new innovations and a newly refranchised bottling system made headlines throughout the year as the company forged a new path ahead.
Let’s look back at a few of our most notable news stories from the last 12 months:’We’re Going to Be a Total Beverage Company’Coca-Cola is evolving to become a total beverage company by reshaping its growth strategy and operating model in line with changing consumer tastes and buying habits, James Quincey said in February at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference.
Quincey, who became CEO on May 1, said the company will focus on driving revenue growth by building and bringing to market “consumer-centric” brands – including more low- and no-sugar options and drinks in emerging categories – and prioritizing beverage transactions and value share over sales volume as it has in years past. Read more.Coke Completes Decade-Long Effort to Return Ownership of Bottling Operations to Local Partners
In October, Coca-Cola North America concluded efforts to return ownership of bottling operations in the United States to local business owners. A diverse network of nearly 70 independent Coca-Cola bottlers – multinational owners to multi-generational family businesses – is now operating as a coordinated, but local and independent, system.
Through a multi-year process known as “refranchising,” the company executed 60 transitions to its U.S. bottling partners, which included 350 distribution centers, 51 production facilities, 55,000-plus employees and over 1.3 billion physical cases of volume.
For us, Coca-Cola UNITED, the largest privately owned bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products in the nation, our Chairman of the Board of Directors, Claude Nielsen, had this to say about the dynamic transformation of our company:
“What our Coca-Cola UNITED team has achieved in the past four years is nothing short of amazing, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration and partnership we have with our colleagues from Coca-Cola North America,” said Claude Nielsen, executive chairman of Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED. ”UNITED has more than tripled in size since 2014, and we’ve grown from fewer than 3,000 associates to an organization of almost 10,000 associates, serving more than 150,000 customers throughout our seven states, and staying true to UNITED’s core values of Quality, Excellence, Integrity and Respect. This has truly been an epic transformation of our company.” Read more >
Today’s fully refranchised Coca-Cola bottling system is the product of more than a decade of collaboration between The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners to develop a “21st Century Beverage Partnership Model” that better serves the changing customer and consumer landscape in the U.S. and creates a more aligned, agile and efficient network of bottlers…
Coke Zero Sugar Launches in the United States
In July, Coca-Cola North America announced plans to give Coke Zero a new name, new look and even more delicious taste. And Coke Zero Sugar is off to a solid start. In a Dec. 8 presentation at the Beverage Digest “Future Smarts” conference, Incoming Coca-Cola North America President Jim Dinkins credited an improved recipe, popular packaging and targeted marketing focused on the brand’s partnership with ESPN College GameDay with delivering a “7 percent change in the trajectory of the business” and double-digit growth for the brand.
GO TO THE SOURCE TO READ MORE: 17 Coca-Cola Stories That Made Headlines in 2017: The Coca-Cola Company