- James Quincey, Coca-Cola Co.’s incoming CEO, said the company has outgrown Coke, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Currently chief operating officer for the company, Quincey will take over the CEO role in May. He noted plans are underway to help the soda giant become more of a total beverage company.
- Coke has seen revenue decrease during the past four years, and the company’s efforts to gain marketshare in other beverages such as bottle water, dairy and juice, have not been enough to offset its dependence on the sugary drink. Soda still represents 70% of all sales.
Quincey is making it his mission to innovate and increase research and development at the 131-year-old company in order to reduce its sugar footprint and become a bigger player in the overall beverage market.
Coca-Cola, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo all made a commitment to reduce the number of sugary drink calories that Americans consume by 20% by 2025, and each company is already working to do more with its roster of products to follow through.
The pledge comes as sugary foods and drinks are under attack, viewed by critics and many consumers as unhealthy. New soda taxes have been approved in several cities including Philadelphia and Berkeley, CA, with other places considering a similar move. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages instituted in Philadelphia in 2017 has caused sales to drop in some grocery stores by as much as 50%, according to Bloomberg.
Rival PepsiCo has already made a big push in rolling out new beverages other than soda, including the launch of three USDA-certified organic varieties of its popular sports drink brand Gatorade, called G Organic.
Coke will be looking to increase its sales in sports drinks, energy drinks, bottled water, dairy and ready-to-drink tea and coffee in the years ahead. Beverage analysts do see opportunities for Coke to make an acquisition, although no specific names are being openly discussed. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a company that’s a big player in bottled water or one of these other segments picked up soon by Coke.