Coca-Cola repositions away from fizzy drinks

The Coca-Cola Company is repositioning itself as a “total beverage company”, placing greater emphasis on new product innovation beyond carbonated soft drinks.

However, one industry insider says it is a difficult task to change consumer perceptions of such an iconic brand and that Coke’s efforts could face “some scepticism in the short term”.

And though a Coke insider says that the Coca-Cola brand remains the “heart and soul of the company”, she adds that “Coca-Cola is a total beverage company and we are determined to build on this further with new brands by extending our portfolio. Innovation to meet changing consumer demand is key.”

Coca-Cola has doubled its range in Great Britain in the past ten years to 20 brands with more than 100 products. This year has seen the launches of Minute Maid fruit juice drinks; the Z’s range, which is a reformulation and repackaging of some of Coke’s biggest brands but with no-added sugar; and the energy drink Sprite3G.

Coca-Cola GB marketing director Cathryn Sleight says: “Our challenge is to think differently and focus not only on our core brands, but to develop new brands and products that satisfy and meet changing consumer needs.”

An industry source says: “Coca-Cola hasn’t got any other option than to diversify because the demand for a healthier diet is increasing.”

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