Coke’s bid to widen range under attack

Coca-Cola has been slammed by retailers and agencies for its “scattergun approach” to new product development.

Coke has looked to add a wider range of drinks to its portfolio because of global decline in demand for carbonated soft drinks.

One retail source says: “Coke seems to throw new launches at the market and see what sticks. The company is trying to get into as many sectors that aren’t carbonated soft drinks as it can as quickly as it can, but its scattergun approach lacks credibility.”

Coke recently launched two energy drinks – Sprite 3G and Relentless – and is thought to be launching a still energy drink this year.

An advertising executive who has experience working with Coca-Cola says: “I would rather Coke concentrated on a portfolio of fewer but better drinks.”

A retailer says it “sticks in the throat” when Coke produces a specific drink that sells less than the market leader in its sector, yet demands [that the drink] be placed in Coke-branded chillers, replacing the leading brand.” Branded chillers must contain 20% rival brands.

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