Coca-Cola Announces It's Discontinuing 200 Drink Brands

Business has picked up at Olympic sponsor Coca Cola

In addition to Tab, Coca-Cola recently announced that it will discontinue a handful of brands that the beverage giant deemed outdated and unsuccessful. As CNN notes, the company is axing such a large number of brands in order to focus on the most profitable remaining ones.

CNN Business has since reported that the company is set to discontinue a total of 200 drinks products, nearly half of the company's total 500 drinks brands.

CEO James Quincey said the "hydration" category, with Dasani, Powerade, Vitamin Water and Zico, and other brands, will likely see more cuts.

On the flagship Coca-Cola brand, Quincey said that "while we have been judicious in our use of marketing spend in Q2 particularly but also in Q3, we have continued to market, including marketing strongly behind the Coke brand".

Both Coca-Cola's revenues and profits beat analysts' forecasts, though expectations weren't necessarily high: the drinks giant's last earnings update revealed a 16% drop in the number of drinks sold versus the same time previous year. We have finalized the master brands in this growth portfolio, which consist of about 200 global, regional and local brands that will allow us to remain truly consumer-centric, focusing on those brands that can be scaled to drive profits for the long-term.

Coca-Cola wants to halve its brand portfolio.

Coca-Cola's deal with the IOC runs through to 2032
Coca-Cola's deal with the IOC runs through to 2032

The past third quarter did provide a bright spot: turnover "only" fell by 9% this summer, to reach 8.7 billion dollar (7.35 billion euro).

Coke has withdrawn financial guidance and said it will talk more about its expectations for 2021 when it reports fourth-quarter earnings.

Discontinuing products, like the Odwalla juice line, for example, frees up resources to invest in growing brands like Minute Maid and Simply and fund the launch of products like Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Coca-Cola Energy and AHA flavored sparkling water, Coca-Cola said.

Plans to streamline Coca-Cola's beverage lineup were underway before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company said.

Declines in "away-from-home" sales eased to mid-teens range in the third quarter from about a 50% slump in April at the height of lockdowns, while demand for its trademark Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar also rose.


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