NEW YORK– Local bottler Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages this month released 5,000 cases of a 12 oz. limited-edition slim can in the New York metro market to celebrate the Chinese New Year. For the first time, New York-area customers can enjoy the Lunar New Year with the same Coca-Cola cans as those sold in China and Hong Kong.
The special can, which displays a lantern with the Chinese character “Fortune,” will be available as supplies last. The Chinese New Year is celebrated Feb. 5 this year and festivities surrounding the holiday can last throughout February.
“We value our local communities and we want to embrace our diversity by introducing this special can to the New York market,” said Paul Mulligan, co-owner, Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages. “With our growing customer base in the various Asian communities throughout all five boroughs, we wanted to celebrate one of the staple events of the year.”
The idea for the can stemmed from Mulligan’s tenure with the Coca-Cola Company when he worked in several Asian countries and where the can has been distributed regularly as part of the New Year celebration. This is the first year the local bottler is distributing the Chinese New Year can, as it is part of Liberty’s larger mission to recognize its nuanced customer base and grow its community presence in its local markets.
“We live and work here in our communities and we are always looking for ways to give back and make a real difference,” said Mulligan.
Il Young Park, a 21-year Coca-Cola veteran and account executive, has been charged with leading Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages’ efforts to distribute the limited edition can throughout the New York metro market.
“I am thrilled to be offering my customers this new product,” said Park. “I have been with the company for more than 20 years, and this is the first time we are doing something of this scale to recognize Asians in New York.”
Beyond the Chinese New Year Cans, Park and his team of sales associates – who are fluent in Mandarin, Korean and Cantonese – have made it a priority to break through the segmentation barriers by becoming part of the local communities it serves.
They have attended local chamber and association events, volunteered at the Korean Day Parade and Street Festival and began a concerted push to better communicate with small business owners. In a single month this year, Park and his team on boarded more than 100 new Asian American customers in Brooklyn and Queens. Their innovative strategy included techniques that identified unconventional outlets where they were able to present Liberty’s vast beverage portfolio and localized presence.
“We want to expand our footprint into all local communities,” said Park. “We are a localized company servicing those areas and we want our associates to be as localized and involved as possible.”
“Il Young’s efforts are to be commended as he has been a passionate ambassador of Coca-Cola,” said Mulligan. “It is important for our associates to ensure that we are bringing intrinsic value to all of our communities.”
About Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages LLC
Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, LLC is a privately-owned bottler that operates production facilities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Moorestown, New Jersey and Elmsford, New York. and sales and distribution centers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marmora, South Brunswick and Carlstadt, New Jersey; Bronx, Maspeth, Elmsford, Staten Island, New Windsor and Smithtown, New York. For more information, visit us at LibertyCoke.com, and follow us on Twitter @libertycocacola, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.