Here are key highlights from Quincey’s commentary on the company’s first quarter 2018 results:
Coke’s global unit case volume was up 3%, and organic revenues grew 5%. Revenue and volume growth grew across all category clusters as the company continued to focus on its total beverage platform. “Across all of our markets, and especially in developed markets, consumers are seeking more beverage choices and are looking for products that fit different needs, moods and moments,” Quincey said.
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Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is on a roll, too. The brand, which replaced Coke Zero in the U.S. in August 2017, continued its trend of double-digit volume and revenue growth globally in the first quarter.
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Coke doubled the value of Fuze Tea in the first quarter. The brand, which was available in nearly 50 countries at the end of 2017, rolled out in 37 countries across Europe on a single day in January. “This is a great example of how we can rapidly ‘lift and shift’ proven, successful brands and scale them quickly," Quincey said.
Topo Chico is available in more U.S. convenience stores than ever. Coke acquired the U.S. rights to the premium sparkling mineral water from Mexico in late-2017, with the intent of using its Venturing & Emerging Brands unit to grow the brand’s footprint. “By the end of the first quarter – our first full quarter of ownership – we increased distribution coverage within the highly valuable convenience retail channel by 25 percent,” Quincey said, while the brand’s overall retail value in the U.S. grew more than 30 percent.
An innovation-focused mindset is powering the company’s results. “The shift in our culture – one that is moving faster, taking more risk, and approaching growth with discipline – is the single largest driver of our performance,” Quincey said. He cited the fact that the company quickly revamped Fuze Tea’s graphics less than eight weeks after the brand’s launch across Western Europe. “At the end of the day,” he added, “speed and agility are critical for success in this rapidly changing consumer landscape.”
Bottlers are embracing the company’s 'total beverage' vision. “Our bottling partners are energized,” Quincey said. “They are investing in capabilities and assets, driving enhanced execution, and focused on bringing a total beverage portfolio to customers.”
Digital marketing and packaging innovations are resonating with younger consumers. Quincey called out two recent successes in China. A Chinese New Year campaign featuring an augmented-reality shopper smartphone experience in partnership with one of the country’s largest online and mobile payment providers was a hit with millennials. Coke also teamed with a leading internet provider to create an integrated digital experience where consumers could learn more about cities across China by scanning localized labels on limited-edition sleek cans with their mobile devices.
“This premium-priced revenue growth initiative has been very successful in attracting a new generation of Chinese consumers,” Quincey said, adding that the two programs combined generated nearly 1 billion consumer impressions and supported the strong performance of brand
The company's outlook remains intact. "We delivered solid underlying financial performance in the quarter," Quincey said. "This translated into strong comparable EPS growth. And we are on track to deliver our full year guidance of 8 to 10 percent comparable EPS growth.
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