My fellow shareowners,

Our story began on May 8, 1886, when the very first Coca-Cola® was sold in Atlanta, Georgia. From these humble roots, our business has grown to touch the lives of people in cities, towns and villages across more than 200 nations.

Coca-Cola has a long history of refreshing the world. Along the way, we've written another closely related story, one of growing long-term sustainable value for shareowners like you and everyone connected to our business.

In 2017, we added an exciting chapter in this story. President and CEO James Quincey shares more about our operational strategies and successes in his letter.

For my part, I'd like to discuss our commitment to long-term value creation and how we believe an inclusive approach helps optimize shareowner value creation over time.

Legendary Coca-Cola Chairman Robert Woodruff liked to describe how every person connected to our business had to be paid from the same dollar.

So our inclusive view of value creation is not new. But it has never been more important, as people increasingly choose our brands not only for the refreshment in each bottle but also for the shared value we create for:

  • Our shareowners
  • Our consumers
  • Our people
  • Our bottling partners
  • Our customers
  • Our suppliers and other business partners
  • Our non-profit partners and public agencies
  • Our communities and governments

Our shareowners. With each decision, we strive to do all we can to create near- and long-term value for shareowners like you. We look at our assets including our people, our brand portfolio, our customer and partner relationships — and we make choices to maximize shareowner value.

For example, we are strengthening our brand and packaging mix to put the right drinks in the right packages in the right places to drive sales and revenue-and create incremental value for our shareowners, customers, bottling partners and other stakeholders.

Our consumers. We are constantly adjusting to changing consumer tastes by polishing our brands, enhancing our beverage portfolio and evolving our packaging. Two examples: the robust growth of smaller packages like our mini cans and the runaway success of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. Consumer focused innovation creates value for our consumers, customers, bottling partners and shareowners.

Our people. We need a strong, capable workforce of diverse individuals, all bringing their unique insights, experiences and know-how to work every day. As a company, we need to be welcoming and inclusive, we need to help our people learn and grow, and we need to compensate them in a way that rewards the work they do and allows us to retain them.

Our bottling partners. In recent years, we've reshaped and re-energized our bottling system to optimize value creation. In 2017, we completed the U.S. refranchising process and helped to create stronger bottlers in China and Japan. These and other changes were designed to drive enhanced long-term value for our bottling partners, shareowners, customers, communities and more.

Our customers. Our system helps stores, restaurants and other customers become more successful by making sure each outlet has an optimal mix of brands, packages, marketing support, and fountain and cooler equipment. Ultimately, we want the customer value creation of our beverages to outpace our customers' other products or menu items, thus creating new value for our customers and opening up new opportunities to grow with them in the future.

Our suppliers and other business partners. Our business relies heavily on the power of partnerships with our suppliers, marketing agencies and many others. As we grow, we create more value for our partners, from fruit farmers, coffee growers and orchard owners to ad agencies, packaging suppliers and billboard companies. As Mr. Woodruff described, all of these people are paid from the same dollar.

Our non-profit partners and public agencies. We work with many partners outside the business world, from the International Olympic Committee, FIFA and the Special Olympics to government agencies to organizations like World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and many others. The work we do together brings new shine to our brands as we celebrate the spirit of sport, make our world more inclusive and take steps to improve the environment, protect water resources, advance community health initiatives and create new economic opportunities.

Our communities and governments. We can't have a strong, growing business unless we are serving strong, growing communities. Much of the public good we do is fueled by the economic value we create for our customers, helping them employ more people, provide more for their families and contribute more to their communities. And we contribute to the public good in every community by paying local and national taxes.

We also look for fresh ways to create community value by, for example, improving access to educational opportunities, critical medicines and clean drinking water in underserved communities. In addition, we are committed to enabling the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs with training, mentoring and micro credits. At year-end, we had reached 2.4 million women, and we are on track to meet our 2020 goal.

On behalf of the board of directors, thank you for your investment in The Coca-Cola Company. Along with James Quincey, his leadership team and all our associates, we remain committed to doing all we can to build long-term value creation for you and all those connected to our business.

Very best regards,

Muhtar Kent Signature_SR

Muhtar Kent
Chairman of the Board of Directors
April 11, 2018

 


For a look at the Interactive Coca-Cola System Value Chain, see below or click here.