Wide-Ranging Interview Covers Distribution Complexity, "Significant' Planned Production Investment, E-Commerce and More
February 7, 2020
Late last year, Coca-Cola Bottling United opened a new $86 million sales and distribution center in the metro Atlanta town of Union City, just south of Coca-Cola headquarters. The 456,000-sq-ft facility serves 10,000 retail customers in metro Atlanta, covering 2.8 million consumers. As many as 750 employees will manage the warehousing, picking and delivery of 36 million beverage cases per year. Manual order picking has been converted to an automated process built by System Logistics. Marketed as “Vertique,” the system is “an organized, more ergonomic and efficient sequential operation, with less stress on associates and not as labor intensive,” according to Coke United (click HERE for a video of the system). The Union City facility is among a series of investments by Coke United to modernize its distribution system since acquiring new territory, including Coke’s flagship metro Atlanta market in 2017. Last month, Coke United broke ground for construction of a $60 million, 300,000-sq-ft warehouse and sales center in the South Georgia town of Tifton, about an hour’s drive from the Georgia-Florida line. The facility will consolidate inventory from eight older and smaller facilities into a single automated order picking location when it opens by the end of 2021. Birmingham, Alabama-based Coke United, with franchise roots dating back to 1902, covers territory in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The company is Coca-Cola’s fourth largest US franchise bottler (after Coke Consolidated, Reyes Holdings and Arca’s Coke Southwest Beverages). United distributes 11% of Coca-Cola system bottle/can carbonated soft drink volume in US. Last week, Coke United CEO John Sherman and East Region VP Mike Succo joined officials at the new Union City center for a grand opening attended by Coca-Cola North America President Jim Dinkins. BD sat down for an interview with Sherman.
The following has been edited for clarity and space:
Sees No Dr Pepper Move from KO, PEP; Opportunity in Energy, Hydration; Strong Allied Brand Strategy.
December 17, 2019
Keurig Dr Pepper Chief Commercial Officer Derek Hopkins has been as close as anyone to the merger of Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple. Hopkins served as chief integration officer for the transaction and before that was president of Keurig Green Mountain’s US business. His experience in the global beverage industry is deep, with stints at Coca-Cola, AB InBev, Bacardi and Guiness Diageo. The following is a recap of his Future Smarts conference interview in Dec. 9 in New York.
We wanted to know more about Coke Tullahoma’s recent sale of its Tennessee and Kentucky franchise territories to Great Lakes Coca-Cola, which is owned by Chicago-based soft drinks and beer distributor Reyes Holdings. So we called...
US Version of Coca-Cola Energy Debuts This Week at NACS. National Launch Set For January. Company to Address Sparkling Water Gap. Powerade Plans Innovation Blitz in 2020.
October 1, 2019
Franchise bottlers for Coca-Cola North America met in Atlanta last month to evaluate innovation and system marketing plans for 2020. The theme of the meeting was “Ready to Execute.” CCNA President Jim Dinkins reiterated that the system’s strategy is dependent on...
Two Years After Refranchising, Bottler Hits Stride in US
September 17, 2019
The past year has been good for Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages (CCSWB). The Dallas-based bottler, controlled by Mexico’s Arca Continental, took home the 2019 Candler Cup as Coca-Cola’s best bottler of the year globally. Before that, CCSWB was named Coke North America’s 2018 Market Street Challenge winner as the most improved bottler. And Southwest’s McAllen, Texas production plant earned a President’s Quality Award as CCNA’s No. 1 facility. The accolades rolled in just two years after Arca entered the US market as part of Coke’s massive refranchising of company-owned bottling assets in the US and Canada. In its first year, CCSWB faced Hurricane Harvey, which caused extensive flooding and damage in Houston, a key market. The bottler also faced soaring commodity costs. BD visited Houston recently for a curated market tour that served as a victory lap of sorts. The day was hosted by Coke Southwest executives including COO Jean Claude Tissot, a 21-year veteran of the Coca- Cola system in Latin America. The following recap includes images from the tour and commentary...
‘It Will Just Escalate and Never Go Away.’ ‘We’re Actually Coming Around to the Notion.’
August 9, 2019
Plastic packaging waste may now pose the single-biggest risk to profitability for the global beverage industry. Some US industry leaders have suggested behind the scenes that a national per-package fee could help fund solutions faster. But would such a proposal ever fly among some of those who will be most affected – independent US Coca-Cola and PepsiCo bottlers? To find out, BD asked...