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.
In late April, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper reported first-quarter earnings. Those results, however, were less interesting that the outlook for the second quarter and the rest of the year. Below is a synopsis, culled by BD from earnings call transcripts, of actions the three companies are taking to adjust to market conditions during the crisis.
20-oz ‘Fallen Off a Cliff.’ New Retail Data: Beverage Category Sales Slowed.
April 14, 2020
As COVID-19 home lockdowns drag on, beverage bottlers in the Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper and independent beverage distribution systems have seen large store sales slow in April compared to the extreme stock-up buying by consumers last month, according to BD’s ongoing informal survey. Bottlers are increasingly concerned about the shift to future consumption from immediate consumption, which has pressured profit margins. The following are comments from bottlers since late last week, organized by topic...
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:
Pepsi Café. PepsiCo has announced a new coffee-infused cola to launch in April. Pepsi Café will be sold in 12-oz slim cans in original and vanilla for a limited time. The drink comes with almost twice the caffeine of a regular Pepsi, according to the company. The product appears to...