The 2010s were a decade of innovation and accelerated change, led mainly by the digital transition and the rise of big data, which quickened the growth of AI, e-commerce, social media, and biotechnology. Purchasing behaviours shifted, too, as consumers became more empowered regarding their preferences and more vocal about their expectations for transparency and ethical practices against which they held businesses accountable.
“For Coca‑Cola, listening to our consumers and embracing change is a fundamental part of our DNA and growth strategy. For these reasons, we continue to evolve to become a total beverage company by reshaping our growth strategy and operating model in line with shifting consumer tastes and buying habits, “says Phillipine Mtikitiki, Vice President of the Coca‑Cola South Africa Franchise.
The first Coca‑Cola was sold in downtown Atlanta in 1886. In its first year, it served only nine drinks a day. Now, 136 years later, we have more than 200 brands globally, in different categories and our beverages are enjoyed daily across the globe.
Coca‑Cola's business priorities will ensure that we optimise our diverse product range, offer smaller packs, and provide consumers with clear nutritional information. We are investing in products with added benefits and will continue to produce industry-leading beverages in various categories, from our traditional sparkling portfolio to waters, juices, sports drinks, coffee and light alcohol.
"To drive sustainable and profitable growth, we are making a conscientious effort not just to expand our portfolio but to shape it in a very deliberate way," says Mtikitiki.
Coca‑Cola supports the recommendation of leading health authorities to keep added sugars under 10% of daily caloric intake. We now offer a broader range of no sugar and reduced sugar options. In South Africa, between 2016 and 2020, we have reduced the sugar content by 32% across our sugar-sweetened beverages portfolio.
We are also rethinking our package sizes and providing larger packs for sharing occasions and smaller, more convenient packs for single consumption. Each pack is marked with clear nutritional information so that consumers can make informed dietary decisions and enjoy our beverages in the size they want. We lead by example and include in our advertising our light and no sugar beverages such as Coca‑Cola Light and Coca‑Cola No Sugar.
We are a proudly global company with local roots. Since 1928, we have shared in South Africa's greatest moments and played a significant role in growing the economy and supporting local businesses. We continue to stimulate job creation across our value chain by procuring top-quality locally produced ingredients and providing the customers who sell our beverages with business skills development.
Alongside our bottling partners, we work closely with stakeholders, including government, local communities, and industry partners, to ensure that we make a difference to the communities in which we do business. In addition, the Coca‑Cola System – ourselves and our bottling partners – contributes to the economic development of local communities through taxes, by purchasing goods, services and capital equipment from local suppliers and pioneering social development initiatives.
As Benjamin Franklin famously said," Change is the only constant in life. One's ability to adapt to those changes will determine your success." Coca‑Cola will continue to evolve its brands, shaping the products people love and building a sustainable future for our business, South Africa and the planet. We do all this while staying true to our purpose to: Refresh the World and Make a Difference.