FRANCE: Coke chief insists CSDs will bounce back
Coca-Cola Co. chief executive Neville Isdell said today (22 June) that there was still growth to be had from the carbonated soft drinks segment - and not just from emerging markets.
Isdell was speaking at the World Food Business Summit in Paris where he said the company would aim to double the brand value of Coca-Cola to account for half of the company's sales by 2015. He said that growing Coke's "core" CSD sales was one of "six strategic growth paths" to achieving that aim.
"We have to grow carbonated soft drinks first. If we can't, why would anyone believe we could grow anything else?" Isdell said. "Even more to the point, there are still enormous opportunities in carbonated soft drinks — and not just in fast growing markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China, but everywhere."
Consumers have in recent months begun to move away from full-calorie CSDs, a trend that has hit sales across the industry, not just at Coke. Isdell said, therefore, that the company was keen to capture more of the growing health and wellness segment, especially with teas and juices.
Coke has spent recent months drawing up a model it believes outlines consumer behaviour and why drinkers consume any drinks over a 24-hour period. Isdell insisted that it was this model that, despite slowing sales in its core CSD segment, taht convinced that the opportunity for growth was "enormous".
Isdell also said that a fiercely competitive retail sector had forced drinks companies to adapt their own sales strategies. "We're no longer competing in just the beverage and food industries. Indeed, in the emerging retail environment, the Coca-Cola system is competing with every consumer product goods company that sells to our customers," he said.
"We're competing with them for selling space on the basis of the three things: profitable categories, supply-efficiencies, and differentiation."
He added that the "transformation" of the company was "just beginning", pointing to the early success of new products including Coke Blak and the launch of media campaigns including "The Coke Side of Life".
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