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The Coca-Cola System

The Coca-Cola System

We are a global business that operates on a local scale, in every community where we do business. We are able to create global reach with local focus because of the strength of the Coca-Cola system, which comprises our Company and our more than 250 bottling partners worldwide.

The Coca-Cola system is not a single entity from a legal or managerial perspective, and the Company does not own or control all of our bottling partners.

While many view our Company as simply "Coca-Cola," our system operates through multiple local channels. Our Company manufactures and sells concentrates, beverage bases and syrups to bottling operations, owns the brands and is responsible for consumer brand marketing initiatives. Our bottling partners manufacture, package, merchandise and distribute the final branded beverages to our customers and vending partners, who then sell our products to consumers.

All bottling partners work closely with customers -- grocery stores, restaurants, street vendors, convenience stores, movie theaters and amusement parks, among many others -- to execute localized strategies developed in partnership with our Company. Customers then sell our products to consumers at a rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day. Learn more about this unique relationship.

In January 2006, our Company-owned bottling operations were brought together to form the Bottling Investments operating group, now the second-largest bottling partner in the Coca-Cola system in terms of unit case volume.

Coca-Cola Systemwide Performance

In April 2007, associates from The Coca-Cola Company and several of our largest bottling partners met for the first time to discuss the development of a core set of performance indicators for the Coca-Cola system. Working groups of Company associates and representatives from our bottling partners have been formed to determine the feasibility -- due to the legal and management complexity of the Coca-Cola system -- of collecting and consolidating economic and social data in addition to the environmental data already collected. Many of our bottling partners produce their own corporate responsibility reports which can be viewed in the Sustainability Reports section.

Bottling Investments Group

Bottling Investments Group (BIG) is a division of The Coca-Cola Company dedicated to investing in Coca-Cola bottling operations around the world. BIG provides leadership to drive growth in critical markets, provides venture capital to move quickly, and often amends structural or ownership challenges. BIG is focused on long-term sustainable growth and manages its facilities as if they were to be owned by The Coca-Cola Company forever.  BIG is committed to win in every market and strives to become a model of collaboration with other bottlers.  BIG is currently in 19 countries and works to maintain a healthy balance of franchise and Company-owned bottlers in the system.

BIG map

BIG Leadership Profiles

Ulrik Nehammer (view bio)

Ulrik Nehammer
  • What role do your markets play in the overall BIG strategy?
    Germany represents one of the most developed markets in the BIG portfolio. As such, our primary role is to consistently deliver revenue and ensure that we execute against our plans in the most efficient way possible. Additionally, we must continue to deploy new technology to ensure we stay relevant and communicate with customers and consumers.
  • What are the greatest challenges you face in your markets?
    As a developed market, implementing major changes requires a significant investment of time and resources. Strategic planning is a key focus to ensure that we manage change across a large enterprise effectively.
  • What opportunities offer the most promise in your markets?
    We pride ourselves in our training and development programs. Our workforce is built to outperform today and we are building a workforce that will deliver against future demands as well. As a result, we have exported an abundance of talent across our global system that continues to make a positive impact for BIG in other markets. 

Martin Jansen (view bio)

Martin Jansen
  • What role do your markets play in the overall BIG strategy?
    With such a variety of markets, there is not one single answer to this question. Generally, the role of our markets is to deliver profitable growth for our brands. From the billion-plus consumers in China, to South East Asia’s youthful population and rapidly expanding middle class, to Bahrain’s population of just over one million people, our overarching goal is to make sure that people have awareness of and access to Coca-Cola and selected other products. My markets play a significant role in terms of capability building and profitable volume growth for our business.
  • What are the greatest challenges you face in your markets?
    Building individual and organizational capability and capacity is our biggest overall challenge. We find that many of our markets undergo rapid political, social, and regulatory change; therefore, learning the best ways to work with local stakeholders effectively and ethically remains a challenge. In most markets our per capita consumption of most of our brands is still very low. So we need to build trial, preference, and consumption habits for our brands. We need to find the market insights to make relevant brand connections with local consumers and build infrastructure and execution capability to capture the existing opportunities.  Although my markets have enough talented people finding, developing and retaining them is a continuous challenge. 
  • What opportunities offer the most promise in your markets?
    The combination of the young and growing population, growing middle class, urbanization, and the current low per capita consumption for our sparkling and still brands provides the biggest opportunity for our company. We believe that in all of these markets, if we build organizational and individual capability and capacity today, we will position our company best to capture a significant share of this opportunity. Our Company has enough great brands and products to play a leading role in the NARTD industry of all my markets. It’s up to us to make the right choices on strategy and investments and then to execute our ambitions.  

William Schultz (view bio)

William Schultz
  • What role do your markets play in the overall BIG strategy?
    Even though both are in Latin America, Uruguay and Guatemala couldn't be more different.   Uruguay is a developed market with strong per-capita consumption and execution, while Guatemala is still a developing market with tremendous potential. 
  • What are the greatest challenges you face in your markets?
    For Uruguay, we have three key strategic challenges: 
    (1)   Accelerate the growth of the Sparkling category through innovation and world class execution (we are launching Coca-Cola Life now)
    (2)   Build our presence selectively in Stills
    (3)   Rapidly improve our product supply productivity and overall cost structure, so we can invest in points 1 and 2 above
    In Guatemala, our focus is on Driving Availability, Improving Productivity, and launching a new Route to Market.
  • What opportunities offer the most promise in your markets?
    For both markets, our men and women are constantly innovating to build advantage for Coca-Cola; and they are the secret weapon that is driving progress. 

KK Krishnakumar (view bio)

KK Krishnakumar
  • What role do your markets play in the overall BIG strategy?
    India and the Southwest Asia markets add up to almost 17% of the global population waiting for the evolution of a soft drink culture, and hence can be the major engine for discontinuous growth in revenues and transactions for the company.
  • What are the greatest challenges you face in your markets?
    The big challenges we face are developing an integrated supply chain and execution machine based on strong principles of sustainability. We want to build a long-term sustainable business in every market we serve.
  • What opportunities offer the most promise in your markets?
    We have a massive opportunity to shape and create an NARTD business, while being an economic multiplier building sustainable communities around our operations in the region. It is incumbent upon us to also build the skills and capacity of the people involved in our value chain as we grow our business.

Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR)
What is CCR? The Coca-Cola Company and the largest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises, took actions in 2010 and 2011 to strategically advance our partnership. The Coca-Cola Company has acquired CCE's entire North American business, renaming the sales and operational elements of Coca-Cola Enterprises North American businesses to Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR). Additionally, The Coca-Cola Company has folded in the vast majority of its U.S. and Canada businesses into CCR. This is an exciting development in the history of the world's greatest brand.

Understand our manufacturing process and its primary environmental impacts.

Learn about the history of Coca-Cola bottling.