Coca-Cola is getting a big-time energy boost from a drink rarely associated with the world’s largest beverage company.
Georgia Coffee, the decades-old, canned coffee product invented by Coca-Cola, is officially the highest-grossing, ready-to-drink coffee product in the world, according to a report from Euromonitor. In fact, the brand has held this distinction for years.
“Even though we’ve had the number-one share in Japan since 1986, we always pursue and put forth efforts to make Georgia Coffee better all the time, to provide the best ready-to-drink coffee,” says Takashi Wasa, senior vice president of marketing and new businesses, Coca-Cola Japan.
Canned coffee is a Japanese tradition dating back to the late 1960s, when the growing vending machine business collided with rapid industrialization in Japan. Although Georgia Coffee’s popularity is mostly due to its success in Japan, the brand has expanded to several other countries, including China, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Macao, Singapore and Taiwan.
Now, Georgia Coffee is one of Coca-Cola’s 21 brands surpassing $1 billion in annual sales and is narrowly beating out competitive ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee brands in Japan.
RTD coffee has also become increasingly popular among Americans. Currently, Georgia Coffee isn’t distributed in the U.S. as a ready-to-drink beverage. But Coca-Cola plans to reach the American market with other brands. The company is distributing Dunkin’ Donuts new line of ready-to-drink coffee, which hit the market earlier this year. The Coca-Cola-owned tea brand Gold Peak announced that it will launch a ready-to-drink coffee line in 2017.
But the company also has plenty of fast-moving consumer trends to keep it busy in Georgia Coffee’s home country. Two-thirds of Georgia Coffee’s variations are coffee-milk blends with various amounts of sugar, but coffee-lovers are increasingly gravitating toward low-sugar and no-sugar options.
Coca-Cola Tokyo Research and Development Company LTd. also invented two cold-brew coffee products under the Georgia brand in 2016. Stan Mah, the company’s president, says the company is the first to launch a ready-to-drink cold-brew product in Japan.
“It is a learning journey,” says Stan Mah, “The coffee team is trying our best to keep connected with the consumer trends, both in Japan and outside of Japan.”
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