Analysts at RBC Capital Markets hosted a global consumer and retail conference on May 27-28. Beverages analyst Nik Modi interviewed leaders from Keurig Dr Pepper, Coca-Cola and Primo Water (formerly Cott). The following is a synopsis of shifts in short-term and long-term trends seen by the executives.
US Non-Alcoholic Beverage Industry Flexed Pricing Muscle Last Year
June 1, 2020
Annually, BD publishes estimated volume and value sales data for US liquid refreshment beverages (LRB) and carbonated soft drinks (CSD). The data included in this special issue estimates beverage consumption for all measured and unmeasured channels, including packaged retail, fountain and vending. Data for juice, tea, coffee and dairy categories focus on single-serve, direct-store-delivered beverages and generally do not include warehouse-delivered or refrigerated products by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper. CSD estimates in this report include traditional soft drinks and energy drinks, which are both carbonated and share similar manufacturing and distribution methods. The fountain channel includes everything from restaurants, such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell, to sports venues.
CEO Sees Challenging Second-Quarter. Says Crisis Response in Coke's 'DNA.'
April 21, 2020
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey emphasized the company’s resilience today as it reported first-quarter earnings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are initial takeaways from today’s earnings release and company-hosted calls with Wall Street analysts and media:
The COVID-19 disruption extended through last week’s important Easter holiday sales period. Large family gatherings and community egg hunts were shut down across the country. The holiday also came on the heels of a month of extreme grocery stock-up in April. BD took a look at...
CSD Growth Decelerates. US Carbonated soft drink dollar sales grew +0.3% during the four weeks ending Jan. 25, according to Nielsen data published by Morgan Stanley. That was a deceleration from +1.4% growth in the prior 12-weeks. A -2.8% volume decline during the four weeks...
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: