- Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent confirmed the continued growth of both his company and the soda industry, even as consumers, public health advocates, and legislators express concerns about Americans' high sugar consumption.
- Kent described the "exponential" growth Coca-Cola has already seen, having grown from one brand and one product to 500 brands and 3,500 products. "[Even] 20 years ago, we had 20 times less products, so a twentyfold increase in the number of products," Kent told CNBC. "Come two years from now we'll have many more."
- Kent also acknowledged that noncarbonated beverages could inch past sparkling drinks in terms of growth, but soda would still expand at its own pace. Fellow soda industry CEO, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, said in October, "I think focusing on just (carbonated soft drinks) is a thing of the past."
The WHO, FDA, and 2015 Dietary Guidelines have recommended sugar caps, and beverage segments like bottled water and ready-to-drink tea have grown fast. Companies like Coca-Cola are having to diversify and develop new strategies for connecting consumers with carbonated drinks, especially since soda consumption in the U.S. declined for the tenth year in a row last year.
Kent pointed out that most of the new product development for Coca-Cola has been internal rather than through acquisitions, though Coca-Cola has acquired minority stakes in companies like Monster Beverage Corp. and Suja in the past year.
Another strategy for Coca-Cola is mini-cans, which are targeting health-conscious consumers while also a profit driver for the company, as Coca-Cola can charge more per-ounce for this type of packaging.
Coca-Cola also announced this week a major marketing overhaul, including a new campaign, "Taste the Feeling" and a new concept as a "one-brand" company.