Coca-Cola

By Luke Smolinski and Pan Kwan Yuk

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are known for their cheery attitudes to the world. Their slogans include: “open happiness”; “life tastes good”; “the best drink created worldwide”.

But these days, life is tasting a lot less sweet for the two drinks giants as both struggle with waning growth in key emerging markets.

 Continue reading »

It was only two paragraphs long. But the fallout from a surprise sales warning issued by Unilever last week was anything but minor.

Shares in consumer goods companies across Europe and the US all fell after Unilever warned that weak growth in emerging markets, exacerbated by currency weakness in countries from India to Indonesia and Brazil, would result in underlying sales growth of 3 to 3.5 per cent for the third-quarter. This compares with growth of 5 per cent reported during the first two quarters of the year. Continue reading »

There’s a telling exhibit in Mexico City’s Interactive Economy Museum illustrating relative levels of human development and well-being. Photographs show (sometimes) smiling families from around the world with all the food and drink they consume in a week.

What’s striking about the Mexican family is just how much soda it gets through – there is a line of bottles on the table – and the exhibit is already few years old. Today, the amount of fizzy drinks guzzled would probably be even higher. Continue reading »

The president of PepsiCo India, Manu Anand, has stepped down after just two and a half years in the job.

It’s difficult to separate the news from the company’s unfortunate decision to shell out millions of dollars to associate itself with the scandal-hit Indian Premier League (IPL). Continue reading »

One of the most visible symbols so far of Myanmar’s opening to the west was the recent launch of Coca-Cola’s new bottling operations at its joint-venture plant on the outskirts of Yangon. Less visible was the changing dynamic around the seemingly unstoppable surge of foreign investment interest in the previously secretive country. Continue reading »

Chileans love their soda so much they just call it “bebida”, or “drink”.

Indeed they glug with such gusto that the Andean country ranks third in the Americas behind Mexico and the US in consumption of fizzy drinks. So many Chilean consumers will be happy to hear that Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Andina, its bottling partner in Chile, plan to pour $1.3bn into Chile by 2016. Continue reading »

Thailand’s cola market has turned aggressive as the three big industry players get all fizzed up about a fourth drink on the block. With an eye on the proposed dismantling of regional trade barriers by late 2015 under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community, the race is on to gain pole position in the country’s large and growing soft drinks market. Continue reading »

It is India’s most popular cola, commanding over 40 per cent of a market estimated at $700m. It’s bigger than Coke or Pepsi but, odds are, you’ve never heard of it.

It’s called Thums Up (the missing “b” is not a typo) and Coca-Cola’s announcement on Tuesday that it would invest an additional $3bn in India over the coming eight years should mean Indians will see even more of it. But Coke has had a complicated relationship with Thums Up since it bought it in 1993. Continue reading »

That’s two in a row. Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft drinks maker, announced on Tuesday a total investment of $5bn in India by 2020, just days after Ikea, the Swedish furniture retailer, reaffirmed its long-term commitment to an economically beleaguered country in need of some good news.

Coke’s commitment – which adds $3bn to $2bn already earmarked – is a reminder that India’s huge market, rising incomes and favourable demographics remain attractive, in spite of serial failure by the government to enact pro-growth reforms and a slew of negative economic data. Continue reading »

Half way into first quarter earnings season in the US and one trend is already becoming apparent – the extent to which US Inc is being propped up by emerging markets.

Kimberly-Clark, maker of Huggies diapers (nappies) and Kleenex tissues, on Friday became the latest US corporate to sing the praises of EMs – where strong sales growth has helped the consumer goods company offset weaknesses in its core US market. Continue reading »

India’s love for sweet things doesn’t stop at sugary snacks and desserts. Fizzy drinks have been a favourite ever since Coca-Cola first arrived in the 1970s. While government regulations forced the company to leave India in 1977, it returned in 1993. Since then the country has seen the emergence and success of local cola brands. Today, carbonated drinks are a staple for every local street vendor.

Seeking to build on this popularity, Coca-Cola has now announced plans to invest up to Rs5.5bn ($121m) in a new plant in south India, as it looks expand further in what is one of the world’s fastest-growing beverage markets. Continue reading »