The Coca‑Cola Company’s roster of billion-dollar brands just got a little more refreshing.
Two uniquely positioned tea brands the company developed and launched from scratch – Gold Peak and FUZE TEA – both passed $1 billion in annual retail sales in 2014. I LOHAS mineral water, sold in Japan, also crossed the milestone mark last year, bumping up Coke’s current billion-dollar portfolio to 20 brands.
Since 2007, the company has added 10 brands to its billion-dollar portfolio across a range of beverage categories. Not far behind, a pipeline of 16 additional brands currently generate annual retail sales between $500 million and $1 billion.
“We are taking definitive steps to capture the enormous growth opportunities available to us in the global nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverage industry,” said Coca‑Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent. “Through a strong global focus on building locally relevant and innovative brands, our company, together with a network of strong local bottling partners, has worked to successfully double the size of our billion-dollar brand portfolio in less than a decade.”
Gold Peak made its U.S. debut in 2006 and has posted double-digit growth every year since due to its great taste, distinct packaging and creative marketing. The premium tea brand, which targets drinkers who prefer a home-brewed taste, is one of America’s fastest-growing iced tea brands. In fact, Gold Peak drove nearly 30% of all dollar growth in the U.S. ready-to-drink tea category in 2014.
“Gold Peak has one of the best conversion rates in the category, which means once a consumer tries it, they come back and buy it again,” said Geoff Henry, group director, tea portfolio, Coca‑Cola North America.
Last summer, the brand launched its first national campaign featuring TV, outdoor, print, digital and social media advertising. “The campaign is connecting with consumers not only because it highlights Gold Peak’s delicious, home-brewed taste… but it also appeals to those who appreciate the comforts of home and spending time with family,” Henry explained.
Gold Peak fans can choose from several varieties, including Sweet Tea, Lemonade Tea, Unsweetened Tea, Diet Tea, Raspberry Flavored Tea and Green Tea. Shoppers can find the brand in a range of packages, including a multi-serve 59-oz. carafe bottle in the refrigerated section (usually near Simply juices), and in a variety of sizes in the ready-to-drink iced tea aisle. Henry said his team is exploring other multi-pack and multi-serve packaging options with a focus on the family meal occasion, as well as new flavors.
FUZE TEA launched in 2012 in 14 international markets on three continents. Created through a fusion of tea, fruit and other natural ingredients, FUZE TEA delivers a fresh, contemporary expression of tea through more than 30 varieties, including Black Tea with Lemon, Black Tea with Peach, Black Tea with Lemongrass and Apple, Green Tea with Mango and Chamomile, and zero-calorie Light Tea.
The brand, now available in nearly 40 markets, reached billion-dollar status in less than three years.
“FUZE TEA is perhaps the first Coke brand to be born truly global,” said Samir Bhutada, Coke’s global director of tea and ready-to-drink coffee. “The success of FUZE TEA is a testament to the power of the global Coca‑Cola system. We’ve proven that when you get the product, packaging and positioning right, the system will rally around it.”
According to Bhutada, the ready-to-drink tea category sits in the “sweet spot” of the beverage business because it simultaneously delivers on the benefits of refreshment, great taste and natural goodness. FUZE TEA taps into this versatility through its focus on “fusion.”
“The concept of fusion – marrying a traditional beverage with a modern look and identity – is relevant in today’s globalized world and translates very well to the tea category. We’re positioning tea in a way consumers have never seen before by delivering a brand experience defined by innovation, not tradition.”
In 2014, FUZE TEA launched a ad campaign featuring bold, colorful visuals, plus proprietary packaging. The brand will reach additional markets in 2015.
Gold Peak and FUZE TEA join Japan’s billion-dollar green tea brand, Ayataka, as the company’s largest brands in the fast-growing ready-to-drink tea category. The success of these brands has propelled Coke’s tea portfolio to substantially outpace the growth of the category globally over the past two years, while gaining market share on both a volume and value basis. The Coca‑Cola Company is the global value leader in still beverages.
The addition of FUZE TEA, Gold Peak and I LOHAS brings The Coca‑Cola Company's billion-dollar portfolio to 20 brands. Here they are, listed alphabetically:
5. Coca‑Cola Zero
7. Del Valle
8. Diet Coke/Coca‑Cola light
10. FUZE TEA
12. Gold Peak
13. I LOHAS
14. Minute Maid
15. Minute Maid Pulpy
17. Schweppes *
* Schweppes is owned by The Coca‑Cola Company in certain countries other than the U.S.