USA – Coca-Cola’s revenue was US$7.6 billion while sales were higher beating analysts’ estimates as the company focused their operations on ‘healthy’ products such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar brand that saw double-digit growth in the first quarter.
Bloomberg reports results were boosted by expansion of its sparkling water line-up, numerous launches of refreshed versions of its core diet brands and a growing portfolio of products that push beyond soda into new categories.
The company reported excluding some items, profit was 47 cents a share with diet coke returning o positive volume growth in North America as a result of the rebranding.
In the quarter, Coca-Cola Atlanta has been slimming down operations, selling off the bottlers it owned to focus on marketing and reformulation company, which it said has proved successful in delivering full-year targets.
The efforts include expansion of its zero sugar and low calorie beverage portfolio in India, adding to its already launched zero sugar beverages including Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite Zero.
To deliver on its long term strategy, the company has been targeting different areas across the globe with different products through strategic growth of both new and core brands.
The strategy included investing in start-up beverage makers in the search for Coke’s next $1 billion brand as it seeks to grow beyond soda to a ‘total beverage company’.
According to Beverage-Digest, per capita soft-drink consumption in the U.S. fell to a 31-year low in 2016 as Americans were consuming fewer carbonated soft drinks.
Changes in consumer tastes and preferences for healthier diet prompted the company to venture outside its core brands, relaunching Coke Zero and Diet Coke brands in a bid to revive their sales.
Diet Coke has had its challenges too with consumers shunning away from artificial sweeteners for other kinds of beverages, leading to its reformulation into different flavors.
Refreshing and sparkling water portfolio including carbonated versions of its Dasani and Smartwater brands posted double digit growth while mineral water brand’s U.S. retail value was up more than 30 percent in the quarter, according to its report.
The segment was further boosted by the acquisition of the US Topo Chico premium sparkling mineral water.
It has revamped its operations through acquisitions or stakes in start-ups including Honest Tea, Fairlife dairy and Suja Life LLC, which makes high-pressure processed juices, kombucha and drinking vinegars.
It has also embarked on larger acquisitions with Keurig Green Mountain Inc., formerly a Coca-Cola investment having agreed to take control of Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., making it the third-largest non-alcoholic beverage company in the U.S., reports Bloomberg.
To diversify operations outside the US, its expanding into Central and Eastern Europe through various investments.