NEW YORK – Coca-Cola North America is finding more ways than ever to ensure its beverages are within an “arm’s reach of desire” in today’s fast-moving marketplace through product innovation, new distribution channels and data-driven decision making, according to Chaly Jo Moyen, SVP of strategy, planning and decision science.
“Our primary job is to follow the consumer,” Moyen said Monday at the Beverage Digest Market Smarts conference.
This entails responding both to evolving tastes and buying behaviors. Coke is quenching Americans’ thirst for personalization and specialization with a range of drinks and packages for different occasions and need states – from beverages with functional benefits (ZICO coconut water, Honest Tea, Core Power and fairlife), to “right-sized” mini cans of core sparkling brands, to familiar favorites with locally sourced ingredients like the new Coca-Cola Georgia Peach and Coca-Cola California Raspberry, to imported brands like Topo Chico sparkling mineral water from Mexico. The company’s zero-calorie sparkling beverage portfolio, anchored by Coke Zero Sugar and Diet Coke, is helping people manage their calorie intake, as are reduced-sugar choices like Gold Peak tea and Simply Light juices.
From Route to Market to ‘Route to Me’
Following the consumer also means embracing the growth of eCommerce and rethinking how Coke beverages are sold and delivered. “Now as a consumer, you have a million different ways you can beverages to your home or wherever you are,” Moyen said. “In the last five years, this world has turned completely upside down.”
This includes ordering online or via a mobile app, using same-day grocery delivery services or click-and-collect curbside pickup solutions. Subscription-based shopping solutions are also popular, especially among time-crunched working parents and young professionals. As one example, Coke is partnering with goPuff, an on-demand convenience store delivery startup catering to college campuses, to deliver get cold beverages to students’ doorsteps within a few minutes.
“We're doing a lot in this space,” Moyen said. “Because beverages are heavy, and people love to have them delivered to their home. We see this as a great growth opportunity.”
Coca-Cola also is using digital technology to create new consumer experiences via innovative programs like sip & scan, which lets consumers unlock experiences and prizes by scanning icons on Coke packages with their mobile phones. “This has been super successful for us and is still in its infancy, but it provides the opportunity to connect personally with a brand through a digital experience tied to a physical product.”
And the next generation of the groundbreaking Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispenser is Bluetooth-enabled, which means Freestyle mobile app users can automatically queue up custom mixes, nutritional info and more when they step into an outlet. “You can have a truly connected experience,” Moyen said.
The company’s focus on digitization is delivering value to retail and foodservice customers, too. The MyCoke platform, for example, enables stores to replenish their beverage inventories and schedule future orders online. And a cloud-based digital signage system lets restaurants make content updates to menu boards based on real-time purchasing data.
Coca-Cola North America’s Decision Science and Data Strategy Center of Excellence analyzes all data captured across Coke’s digital ecosystem, giving teams across the company a big-picture view of opportunities. “The power of marketing in a digital world is that it gives us the ability connect consumers to our brands in ways we couldn't before,” Moyen said. “We have more data now than we have ever had in the past, but the key is figuring out what data you need and how to wrangle that data. This is where the real magic happens, and where we see so much potential growth.”