Coke outlines plans for the next decade

The Coca-Cola Co. Inc. outlined plans this week for the company’s long-term growth, and also unveiled upcoming changes for vitaminwater.

The company will relaunch vitaminwater10 as vitaminwater zero, according to Coca-Cola North America Chief Marketing Officer Katie Bayne, and will repackage full-calorie vitaminwater with shiny, metallic labels. The entire line will also receive new nutritional labeling. This follows what has been a fairly impressive rollout of “10,” which quickly achieved more than $78 million in annual sales despite an overall slowing of the growth of Coke’s 4.1 billion acquisition.

The marketer’s broader outline focused heavily on investing in developing and emerging markets, but included core changes that will impact Europe and North America. Executives from Coke and Coke bottlers worldwide spoke to a crowd gathered at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta and described variations on how to make the company’s local markets and global operations support each other in an effort to double the Coke system’s revenues by 2020.

John Farrell, vice president of strategic planning, said the company will continue to broaden its global beverage portfolio while allowing bottlers to decide what products work in their local markets. Others – including Bill Elmore, president of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated – outlined how Coke plans to incubate package and products ideas in individual markets before scaling them nationally or globally. In his case, Coke Consolidated switched 20 oz. bottles in the Southeast for 16 and 24 oz. bottles, increasing sales and paving the way for bottlers in other markets to implement variations on the new immediate consumption plan.

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said the company needs these changes to cope with changing consumer patterns – something he admitted Coke had not done well in recent years. Its consumers have changed in two big ways, he said. First, global demographics have drastically shifted, with the industrialized world fast aging, and the developing world getting younger all the time. Also, he said, modern consumers now demand more from the products they buy and the companies that market them.

“They do not want to be told what to do anymore,” Kent said.