Dec 8 - 9
Santa Monica, CA
BevNET Live Winter 2014: Learn. Network. Succeed.
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BevNET Live: Take a Healthy Approach to Portfolio Growth with Coke’s Mary-Ann Somers

Mary-Ann Somers, The Coca-Cola Co.

Mary-Ann Somers, The Coca-Cola Co.

The successful companies coming to BevNET Live market thriving brands that are growing and the opportunities to add new products to better command a shelf presence, take advantage of momentum and go after suddenly apparent gaps in the market can lead to the compulsion to broaden product sets and brand portfolios.

If it fits with an overall strategic plan, and it’s well-executed, companies can expand their brands and gain momentum simultaneously. But those are hard variables to control, particularly when inexperience or speed of growth can shrink the planning window to a crack in the schedule.

That’s why BevNET is delighted to announce that Mary-Ann Somers, the General Manager and Senior VP of Coca-Cola’s Water, Tea, and Coffee portfolio will be joining BevNET Live in Santa Monica to help discuss methods for expanding product offerings without creating confusion or breaking momentum. Using experience drawn from both her current position, her previous work with Coca-Cola and her marketing and operational experience, Ms. Somers’ presentation will explore ways that companies can measure their brand elasticity to cover new products, consider strategies for timing portfolio expansion by exploring measured and opportunistic methods, and look at the ways that new products can either help or hamper the prospects for entrepreneurial beverage companies.

Using case studies from the entrepreneurial companies she encountered during her time at Coke’s Venturing and Emerging Brands Unit, as well as the large group of brands she currently oversees and comparable examples from other companies, Ms. Somers will give the BevNET Live audience key  guidelines for deploying new products as momentum builders, rather than speed bumps.

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About Mary-Ann Somers

Mary-Ann Somers is a Senior Vice President & General Manager at the Coca-Cola Company where she manages the Water, Tea and Coffee categories, totaling over $3B at retail. Her brands include Dasani Water and Liquid Enhancers, Gold Peak Tea, Fuze Refreshments, and Honest Tea & Kids. Under her leadership, Dasani has grown to become the leading national water brand. She has driven innovation under the trademark, launching Dasani Drops and capturing the #2 position in the liquid enhancer category — and more recently, launching Dasani Sparkling water.  She has significantly improved Coca-Cola’s position in the tea category by accelerating the Gold Peak trademark (becoming the #1 chilled RTD Tea) and launching Fuze Refreshments, with both brands having line of sight to become billion dollar brands.  Mary-Ann is partnering with the founder of Honest Beverages to further drive the Honest Tea and Kids businesses in 2015 as part of the tea and juice drinks portfolio.

Prior to her current role, Mary-Ann was VP in the Venturing and Emerging Brand Group where she led white space identification and partnered with founding entrepreneurs to develop and accelerate new brands (Honest Tea, Zico Coconut Water, Core Power and illy issimo).  Before joining Coke in 2009, Mary-Ann held various domestic and global leadership positions at Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever, Merck and General Mills, as well as being a founding member of an internet health and wellness start-up.   She has lived in New York City, was an expat in Istanbul Turkey and now resides in Atlanta, Georgia.  She holds a BA from Connecticut College and an MBA from the Tuck School, Dartmouth College.

About BevNET Live

BevNET Live Santa Monica will be held on Dec. 8 and 9 at the Loews Beach Hotel. It is a two-day conference for beverage entrepreneurs, suppliers, distributors, retailers and investors to gather, speak, exchange ideas through interactive panels and lectures, and enhance their sales, marketing, growth and product development strategies. Attendees can tap the expertise of investors and investment professionals who can help them realize growth capital or exit opportunities, explore and discuss strategies from business owners with inspiring success stories, and otherwise absorb case studies curated by BevNET.com, which has spent a decade dedicating itself to careful reporting on the fast-moving beverage industry. More than just a conference, BevNET LIVE includes networking options including the BevNET LIVE Expo, beverage breaks, cocktail receptions and, most of all, community.