Greetings! I’ve just returned from Munich, Germany, where I spent 5 days at a trade fair called drinktec.  Drinktec is “the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry.” Manufacturers and suppliers from all over the world come to drinktec which is held once every four years to present the latest technology for processing, filling, packaging and marketing all kinds of beverages and liquid food.  The setting for drinktec is a huge exhibition center that was formerly an airport! There were approximately 1,400 exhibitors from over 70 countries – and nearly 60,000 visitors from more than 170 countries!

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Only one side of one of the many halls at drinktec

Given the scale and importance of the drinktec fair, many global Coca-Cola associates were in attendance.  We had system attendees from our center and field technical teams (including Research & Development, Quality, Safety & Environment, Technical Operations and Global Sustainable Procurement) as well as many bottlers from around the world.  We anticipated this high level of Coca-Cola associate attendance, and took the opportunity to provide a central meeting space in a “Coca-Cola Lounge” filled with hot and cold beverages from our global portfolio. We also had several of our key initiative leaders in attendance to go through updates and overviews on key business topics (such as PlantBottle and CO2 coolers). It was an excellent opportunity for our typically global/virtual teams to connect and collaborate on our strategic business priorities.

In addition to internal connections and collaboration, I spent a good part of the week walking through the drinktec exhibition halls. It took the full 5 days to see everything, from new technologies to produce and process beverages, to filling and packaging technology, to energy systems (and more). Several of our key partners and suppliers were also there and had exhibitions.  The opportunity for connections was unbelievable!  Coming out of drinktec we’ve collaborated and developed the following list of some of the biggest insights and takeaways from the event this year and are working to share this with associates that could not attend as well as the Company’s Operating Committee:

  • In-line Digital printing on PET packaging – we saw examples of UV inks that dry immediately, fast application and high definition, and with the ability to create single, unique bottles
  • Aseptic lines with preform sterilization – this is a major advancement when it comes to safe sterilization with minimum use of plastic material
  • Sustainable solutions that (almost fully) eliminate secondary packaging (cans and PET)
  • Many hybrid dispensing solutions, such as interactive dispensers, which allow for maximum flexibility and more consumer interaction
…And too many others to list!

drinktec 2013 carletta group 300

A group shot of Carletta with several colleagues from Quality, Safety and Environment.

I was proud to represent The Coca-Cola Company at drinktec this year and was so happy to see so many people across our great Company who were there. Already looking forward to the next one in 2017!

For more information about drinktec, please visit

Carletta Ooton is Vice President of Technical Operations at The Coca-Cola Company. You can find Carletta on Twitter at @ceooton.