- Coca-Cola's global "one brand" packaging overhaul for its four core brands has been successful so far, driving sales for light and zero-calorie soda in markets that have the new packaging, Coca-Cola COO James Quincey said during an investor presentation at Deutsche Bank Thursday.
- Rollouts of the new design will continue in various markets throughout 2016 and 2017.
- Those packaging changes won't make it to the U.S. market this year "due to an already packed promotion and marketing calendar," a company spokesperson told TheStreet.
Coca-Cola's U.S. promotion and marketing calendar includes a patriotic can with the U.S. flag motif (celebrating the 75th anniversary of its partnership with United Service Organizations) that also ties into Coke's "Share a Coke and a Song" initiative. Playing off its successful "Share a Coke" promotion, the company has integrated song lyrics into the packaging design for its cans and bottles.
The one brand campaign may have worked so far in markets like Spain, Mexico, and northern Europe, but packaging will only take soda so far. That's especially true in the U.S., where attitudes toward soda have changed in recent years.
Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners are the main culprits here. And while Coca-Cola recognizes that reducing sugar may be necessary to stave off concerned consumers following the new Nutrition Facts panel reveal, any reformulations have to be carefully executed. Coca-Cola doesn't want a repeat of New Coke or to suffer the same backlash as Diet Pepsi's recent reformulation.
"There is no point (in) us developing products with whatever level of sugar if consumers don’t like them because they are certainly not going to drink them," Quincey said during the presentation.
Quincey framed the situation as an opportunity for Coca-Cola to lead soda's revolution and return to relevancy.
Mini-cans are one key part of that strategy, Quincey said, but the company is also focusing on innovation and making R&D investments to "reduce the aggregate sugar content across the portfolio and promote zeros and light products."