Coca-Cola Inks Distribution Deals With Three More U.S. Bottlers

CocaCola_7The Coca-Cola Company has signed letters of intent with three U.S. bottlers as part of the business’ ongoing refranchising efforts, granting new distribution territories across seven states. The company announced the news Wednesday in a press release, where Coca-Cola North America president Sandy Douglas said “We are confident that we are building a model that is modern, agile and consumer and customer focused. The progress announced today continues our efforts to balance national scale and local capability, and will help us increase our leadership and competitive advantage in the U.S. business.”

The new bottlers include Tampa-based Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, Chicago-based Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution (a subsidiary of beer distribution giant Reyes Holdings), and Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, out of Atlantic, Iowa.

Accordingly, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida will now take on territories in north Florida, including Brevard, Daytona, Jacksonville, Gainesville and Orlando. Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution will handle Coke’s distribution for all of Michigan, the bulk of Wisconsin, and select portions of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company has been granted southeastern Iowa, western Illinois and northeastern Missouri.

According to the press release, Coca-Cola-owned bottler Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCE) has now sold off more than 30 percent of its sales and distribution rights to independent bottlers like the aforementioned ones, a number the company is aiming to bring to the 50 percent mark by 2017. In May, Coca-Cola handed over distribution rights in ten states to Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated.

The company also posted its third quarter earnings Wednesday, reporting global sales volume increase of three percent, powered by a six percent in sales from still beverages and a two percent increase in carbonated soft drinks. However the strength of the U.S. dollar resulted in revenue declines in all of its global market except for North America, which saw a one percent bump. Domestically soda volumes continued to decline with a drastic 9.5 percent decline in Diet Coke and 3 percent drop in regular Coke, but those losses were offset by a 7 percent increase in volume from Coke’s non-CSD portfolio.