The Coca-Cola Company today announced that it is accelerating the pace and scale of its bottler refranchising efforts with plans to refranchise 100% of company-owned North America bottling territories by the end of 2017, including all cold-fill production facilities.
The company has also entered into a non-binding letter of intent to refranchise company-owned bottling operations in China to existing partners China Foods Limited, part of COFCO Limited, and Swire Beverage Holdings Limited, building on other recent global refranchising initiatives in Europe and Africa.
“We have made significant progress on our North American refranchising initiatives,” said Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent. “We continue to negotiate additional agreements and we are in constant discussion with potential partners who are excited about investing in the future of the Coca-Cola system in our flagship market as well as in other markets around the world.”
Added Kent: “The acceleration of our global refranchising marks a step change in our efforts to refocus The Coca-Cola Company on its core business of building strong, valuable brands and leading a system of strong bottling partners.”
The franchise system is a cornerstone of the company’s 21st Century Beverage Partnership Model in North America, a broad initiative aimed at building on system capabilities to sustain success. The first letters of intent in the refranchising process were announced in 2013.
“This has been an important, strategic process that positions the Coca-Cola system in its flagship market for a great future,” said J. Alexander “Sandy” Douglas Jr., president, Coca-Cola North America. “The North American market presents an opportunity to blend the strengths of a locally focused franchise bottling system with national production efficiencies and large customer account management.”