US: Coke looks to the future
The Coca-Cola Co. has unveiled a new advertising slogan and an array of innovations and new packaging as the company looked towards the future.
At an investor conference in New York yesterday (7 December) the company also made upbeat noises about employee morale and stated its long-term growth plans.
Coke's head of marketing, Mary Minnick, announced the launch of "Welcome to the Coke Side of Life". The new slogan is a move towards making the company's beverages more relevant to consumers, Minnick said, adding that the company's aim is to sell the brand and not just the beverage.
At the same time, Minnick confirmed that Coke would be launching Coca-Cola Blak in France next month. The coffee-flavoured drink will be rolled out to other countries next year. Coke will also launch new packaging in the near future in the form of 200ml aluminium bottles.
CEO Neville Isdell said that problems a year ago with morale and execution had improved. "(Getting employees to work better together) is an absolutely crucial piece in moving a big ship like The Coca-Cola Company around," Isdell noted.
Isdell tempered talk of large acquisitions going forward, warning that the company would prefer to pursue more "bolt-on" or smaller geographical acquisitions next year.
Coke's CFO, Gary Fayard, affirmed the company's long-term targets for annual volume growth of between 3% and 4% and operating income growth of 6-8%.
Towards the end of the three-and-a-half hour meeting, Isdell responded to a question about whether he planned to leave the company, saying: "(I) will be around for a while."
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