Creations Continues. Fanta Reformulates. Sports Drinks Ambitions.
Meals Marketing. Smartwater Gets Smarter.
Coca-Cola’s North America Operating Unit hosted executives from its
franchised bottling system at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta
recently to discuss market plans for 2023. Next year’s playbook is centered
on “Epic Bets,” Coke North America representatives told bottlers in
attendance. The bets include 1) marketing Coca-Cola during meal and break
occasions, 2) the second year of Coke Creations, 3) a newly reformulated
Fanta, 4) the evolution of Smartwater, and 5) combining the strengths of
Powerade, BodyArmor, and Core Power to pursue sports drink category
leadership. At retail, emphasis will be placed on shelf display, cold
placements, and incremental space, Coke executives said.
PREPARED FOR SHIFTING ECONOMY. Amid a previously announced leadership transition from Coke North America President Alfredo Rivera to SVP and Global Ventures President Jennifer Mann on Jan. 1, the unit’s Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Boffi and Chief of Strategy Diego Granizo addressed bottlers at the meeting. Both spent much of their careers in Latin America, where a host of segmentation, pricing, and packaging strategies originated. Boffi said Coca-Cola has an opportunity to expand into a more of the 3.8 million outlets available across the US and Canada markets. Granizo said the North American Coke system will be prepared for various scenarios in the changing economic environment.
COCA-COLA GEARS UP FOR MEALS, ‘CREATIONS’ YEAR TWO. Coca-Cola marketers will team up with food influencers to promote the pairing of the cola with meals. Use of Coke as a breaktime lift will be emphasized, as well. Coca-Cola Creations will launch new limited time offerings in year two of the series, incorporating learning from year one, North America CMO Melanie Boulden told the bottlers. She said the Creations program in 2022 generated high awareness and trial, with 90% of Creations buyers picking up another Coke product, and 80% saying they feel better about the Coke trademark. The 2023 program will be simplified, she added.
FANTA RENOVATION. The fruit-flavored soda will get special emphasis in 2023 following an upgraded orange formula and packaging, which was shown this month at the NACS show in Las Vegas. A new global marketing campaign will showcase the brand and upgrades at a time when flavored sodas have resonated with young consumers and Hispanics in particular. Other flavors will be renovated in 2024 and 2025.
SMARTWATER INVESTMENT CONTINUED. A third year of investment in Smartwater will address the alkaline bottled water segment with an antioxidant introduction, also shown at NACS. Shelf placement alongside the core Smartwater offering will be an important retail initiative.
SPORTS DRINK LEADERSHIP. Fresh off the decision to combine Powerade operations with newly acquired BodyArmor, the unit’s CEO Federico Muyshondt set a goal to gain meaningful market share within five years as the category grows from $9 billion today to $15 billion by then. At NACS, Powerade showed new packaging that called out a formula upgrade with 50% more electrolytes than the market leader. “Powerade will reboot the rivalry,” he told the bottlers, pledging new investment. BodyArmor recently added a 28-oz bottle and new multipack configurations are planned across the brand’s portfolio. Meanwhile, BodyArmor SportWater will receive renewed focus and add a key package size, while BodyArmor Edge will be relaunched amid a push within the convenience channel. Muyshondt said he expects meaningful double-digit growth from the sports drink portfolio next year.
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