Coca-Cola is spreading itself outside beverages to expand its market28 Feb 2022
With 130 years of experience behind the brand Coca-Cola, it would be easy to imagine that the brand would be comfortably reliant on one of its 15 billion-dollar brands that make up the portfolio of one of the largest beverage companies in the world.
However, Coca-Cola has remained an innovative company throughout its history and is now looking to align itself more closely with cultural pillars — sports, gaming and music — by leaping into web3 applications, alternative reality experiences and modern enhanced ingredients.
Coke’s new playbook for innovation coincides with its first global brand refresh in five years, called Real Magic. Not only is the typography of the company’s logo updated, but the established corporation is leaning into disparate segments of popular culture through the development of films featuring well-known gamers and the debut of its Coca-Cola Creations hub.
The Creations platform is the newest innovation station for Coke, and its first release is Starlight, a limited-edition flavour that focuses on embodying the idea of space travel through the use of a cooling sensation in the beverage. The beverage will be available for about six months in North America, Europe and key markets in Asia. By stepping into sensations rather than taste, Coca-Cola is breaking with its innovation tradition of emulating flavours such as cherry and vanilla.
But this is not the only way that the Atlanta-based company has shaken things up recently. Last year, the marketing arm of the company dabbled in NFTs (non-fungible tokens) when it auctioned a 'loot box' of four collectibles through the OpenSea online marketplace. The auction of its first one-of-a-kind digital tokens to exist in the metaverse fetched $575,883.61 (€515430.23), and the sale coincided with an event in Decentraland. However, despite an initial foray into the new digital frontier, Coca-Cola has not since reentered the space.
Killing off no-growth 'zombie' brands
As the beverage segment becomes increasingly segmented by brands offering hyper-specific functional benefits in their drinks, many legacy brands have fallen out of favour with consumers. Coca-Cola responded to the changing headwinds of consumer demand by jettisoning many of its 'zombie' brands such as Odwalla and Zico coconut water. It defines so-called 'zombie brands' as products that have not grown over a three-year period.
Meanwhile, it has been cultivating rising stars like Topo Chico. Topo Chico has been a star brand for the company, not only thanks to the growing popularity of sparkling water but also because the brand marked Coke’s first foray into the alcohol space. Last year, the company partnered with Molson Coors to lunch Topo Chico Hard Seltzer. While initially this partnership with Molson Coors was limited, the American beer brewer announced in September that it would roll the beverage out across the US in 2022.
Like many other major beverage companies, Coke is straddling the line between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. And like many other companies, it has seen success in doing so. Earlier this year, it announced another partnership with the Corona brewer Constellation Brands to produce and distribute ready-to-drink cocktails based on the Fresca soda line. Moving into the alcohol space allows the company to expand the number of occasions at which consumers will reach for its products depending on their need or preference.
Streamlining the supply chain
Outside of innovation within its own portfolio, Coke is also using some of its funds to invest in its supply chain technology. Through its venture capital arm of Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, the beverage giant invested an undisclosed sum into Kargo Technologies, an Indonesian startup that digitizes the trucking supply chain.
It seems as if its strategy is paying off. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the company exceeded expectations, posting net sales figures that were up 10% year-on-year to $9.46 billion (€8.46 billion). According to the company, that means even as beverage trends continue to change, its offerings remain in-demand with over 1.9 billion servings of drinks from Coca-Cola’s portfolio are consumed daily across 200 countries.
Diageo unveils plans for €200 million carbon-neutral brewery in Ireland
1 Aug 2022
Diageo has unveiled plans for a €200 million carbon-neutral lager and ales brewery in Ireland – the country’s first.Read more
Shifting trends: Analysing the impact of high inflation in India
25 Jul 2022
Despite food and beverage categories in India feeling the pinch of increasing inflation, the overall outlook remains upbeat as governmental support steps in and evolving consumer purchasing patterns shape the sector.Read more
Gen Z consumers are thirsty for variety in beverages
31 May 2022
As Gen Z consumers gain disposable income, they are looking to quench their thirst with beverage brands that are clean, sustainable and socially responsible, according to a report from the global consumer trend forecaster WGSN.Read more
Tea flavour innovation in China unites tradition with modernity
13 Apr 2022
Chinese tea brands are innovating with new flavours, blends and formats, and even making a foray into food with tea-flavoured food and drink launches.Read more
Low- and no-alcohol beverages see significant growth globally
11 Apr 2022
Alcohol-free and low-alcohol beverages are helping drive growth for many alcohol manufacturers that have been struggling to adapt to the changing tastes of the market in recent years.Read more
Brand licensing deals rise post-pandemic as consumers seek familiar and healthier products
8 Apr 2022
Longer-term brand licensing deals between food companies have become more popular in recent times – a trend set to continue and flourish, partly thanks to the pandemic, licensing experts told Ingredients Network.Read more
Baby formula brands innovate with clean label launches
7 Apr 2022
Clean label baby food is receiving a significant amount of development, with two recent brands ByHeart and Bobbi launching formulations certified by the Clean Label Project with a Purity Award.Read more
Consumers seek ashwagandha-fueled relaxation in beverages
28 Mar 2022
Ashwagandha has been used in India for centuries, and it is only in recent years that consumers in the US and now Europe are realising its health benefits, with manufacturers starting to add this adaptogen to beverage formulations.Read more
A new brew: Ayurvedic coffee in India, adaptogenic coffee from Finland
10 Mar 2022
Coffee is probably one of the world’s most popular functional beverages, providing millions with their daily caffeine hit. However, some brands are taking its functional benefits further by adding in botanicals, vitamins, and other nutrients.Read more
Microdrink startup Waterdrop expands in US, looks to move global
24 Feb 2022
Australian beverage startup Waterdrop has raised €60 million ($70 million) in a Series B funding round led by Singapore-based investment firm Temasek. The startup, which makes microdrinks — water-soluble, sugar-free cubes packed with plant-b...Read more
Are you a supplier?
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation