Coca-Cola European Partners targets outside help with CCEP Ventures investment vehicle

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Coca-Cola European Partners has launched CCEP Ventures, an investment programme that will target start-ups and research groups as the group looks to boost growth and tackle sustainability challenges.

CCEP CEO Damian Gammell said more competition in Western Europe is likely

CCEP CEO Damian Gammell said more competition in Western Europe is likely

Damian Gammell, CEO for the Western Europe Coca-Cola bottler, said yesterday the programme will bring "the best minds and ideas from the outside world" to CCEP. "Our business faces future disruptive trends that need innovative solutions and we need to adapt and learn quickly," he continued.

Speaking to analysts at the CAGNY investor conference in Florida yesterday, Gammell gave further details on CCEP Ventures, saying the programme has been created because "we felt we needed to externalise our agenda a lot more". He said the programme will target help for CCEP's growth objectives from "institutions, companies and start-ups".

"We hope to accelerate some of the change we know we need so we can go after growth quicker or, more importantly, to address the sustainability issues quicker," Gammell added.

The innovation programme will focus on a number of CCEP's business areas, including customer experience and support, logistics and distribution, future packaging design and technology and prediction and pricing analytics.

Meanwhile, Gammell told analysts he sees an incremental EUR30bn (US$34bn) sales opportunity in CCEP's markets by 2028, with CCEP's own sales and volumes expected to increase annually by as much as 3% and 1.5%, respectively, in that time. However, the CEO warned that the expanding market in Western Europe will attract more competition from new and existing drinks companies.

"There is a big opportunity and we are realistic about the challenges that come with that opportunity," he said.

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