LISTENING TO OUR CONSUMERS
What are we learning from today’s consumers? No less than eight significant trends.
1. An openness to new cultures and senses.
2. A love for local products, services and people who support our neighborhoods and communities.
3. A revival in folk traditions and rituals—from food and beverage to music, art and spirituality.
4. A passion for singular and unique experiences that express our identity.
5. An increased interest in managing the food and beverages that enter our bodies.
6. A burning desire to be hyper-productive, especially in how we shop and navigate across retail and communication channels.
7. A yearning to match productivity with more leisure and moments of pleasure, and even indulgence.
8. An expectation to engage with brands through new experiences and conversations.
All of these insights are being reflected in our transition to a total beverage company.
BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION
As consumer tastes change and people become more health conscious, The Coca-Cola Company is offering the widest variety of beverages in our history, including more beverages with natural attributes, fewer calories and functional benefits.
Our portfolio includes organic tea, coconut water, value-added dairy, coffee, juices, purified water and more. In 2016, we continued our journey to make such beverages more widely available. For example, we expanded smartwater to more countries, with plans to reach 20 markets in 2017. And we also helped people consume less sugar with more small bottles and cans as well as product reformulations.
We introduced our “one brand” approach to marketing all variations of Coca-Cola as a single brand, reinforcing the fact that people can enjoy great Coke taste and refreshment with fewer calories or zero calories.
Starting in Europe, we improved and rebranded Coca-Cola Zero as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. Globally, we also increased to 40 percent the number of our sparkling beverages available in convenient small packages of 8.5 ounces or less.
And we’ll keep moving forward in 2017 with projects under way to reduce sugar in more than 500 of our beverages worldwide.
A CHANGING MARKETPLACE
Our retail landscape is evolving at a breathless pace.
Today, we serve no less than four generations of retailers that are transforming the way we shop and interact with brands.
It started with mom-and-pop stores, which continue to compete on relationships and proximity. Even now, they account for a significant share of all retail trade globally.
Then we saw the emergence of larger store formats, which placed a premium on variety and value.
Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen the emergence of online marketplaces, with a focus on speed, convenience and ubiquity.
And now we’re transitioning to an era where technology is enabling shoppers to operate seamlessly across and between all types of stores.
The pace of retail change will only intensify with the growing acceptance of digital bots, artificial intelligence, driverless delivery networks, 3-D printing and other technologies.
For companies like ours, this changing retail landscape provides incredible new opportunities to create stronger relationships with our retail customers and shoppers, many of whom are now just a click’s reach of desire from our brands.
INNOVATING FOR GROWTH
Our innovation story accelerated in 2016 with new and improved brands, products, packages, sweeteners and equipment to meet the evolving needs of our customers and consumers.
We invested in many ways to provide people with more delicious beverage choices with less sugar. In the United Kingdom, for example, we replaced Coke Zero with the improved taste of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, sweetened more brands with the help of stevia extract and introduced a convenient 250-milliliter slim can.
From 2014 to 2016, we doubled the number of Coca-Cola Freestyle machines to more than 40,000. These state-of-the-art dispensers give people more than 100 drink choices. In early 2017, we began bottling Sprite Cherry and Sprite Cherry Zero in response to their popularity on Coca-Cola Freestyle.
In India, we introduced an affordable new small plastic bottle in 2016 that uses a protective coating to keep Coca-Cola fizzy and delicious, even when transported long distances or stored at warmer temperatures.
In Japan, we introduced 100 products and packages in 2016, including glacéau sleepwater, which contains a green tea ingredient associated with sleep. And nearly two-thirds of our volume growth in Japan came from low- and no-calorie brands.
Meanwhile, our Venturing & Emerging Brands team continues to help us delight health-conscious consumers with beverages ranging from Honest Tea and ZICO coconut water to cold-pressed Suja juices and fairlife ultra-filtered milk.