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...
Same-store gasoline sales in the US fell during the week ending March 14, according to data released late last week by the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS). Initial data for the week ending March 21 indicates the decline could be...
Pantry loading this month by US consumers reacting to the COVID-19 crisis wasn’t limited to large hydration categories, according to all-outlet US data provided to BD by Nielsen. As shown in the table on the next page, categories and segments ranging from carbonated soft drinks to kombucha saw significant...
LaCroix Lost Share as Bubly Gained. Coke Poised to Further Shake Up Category With Aha Launch.
February 7, 2020
The US sparkling water category grew in 2019, driven by the consumer shift to lower-sugar beverages with simpler ingredient panels. Here's a brand-level look and comprehensive data table detailing the category.
Globally, as in the US, the diet soda segment has performed better than the regular soda segment as consumers worldwide heed medical advice to reduce sugar consumption and governments tax sugar-sweetened drinks to discourage use. Volume sales for the diet soda segment globally in 2019...
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:
Brand to Challenge LaCroix, Bubly, Polar; Looks to Make Up Lost Ground.Punchier Flavors, Trendy Flavors and Caffeine Lead Effort to Stand Out From Crowd
November 13, 2019
Coca-Cola has now confirmed details of its mainstream sparkling water launch, which we first wrote about in August (BD 8/29/19). Called Aha, the brand’s March debut will challenge National Beverage’s LaCroix and PepsiCo’s Bubly. Until now, Coke has resisted entering the mainstream sparkling water category with a sweeping challenger, opting instead for line extensions of Dasani and Smartwater, plus Topo Chico. Aha marks a reversal of that strategy as Coca-Cola aims to capitalize on the struggles of market leader LaCroix while slowing down the relatively unchecked growth of category disruptor Bubly. Aha’s success will depend largely on Coke’s ability to grab consumers’ attention in a crowded category that offers little differentiation between mainstream formulas.