Coca-Cola is discontinuing about 200 brands; water category could see more cuts

Andrew Cummings
October 25, 2020

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). Revenues also declined by 9% to $8.7 billion.

This was a distinct improvement on the second quarter, which had registered a corresponding decline of 28 per cent.

"Plans to streamline the company's beverage lineup were underway well before the coronavirus outbreak, but the pandemic promoted leadership to move faster", the company said in its original statement on October 16. Earnings, adjusted for one-time items, fell 2 percent to 55 cents per share. Although sales in all regions dropped compared to a year ago, this was a better performance than analysts had expected. In the U.S., sales at convenience stores ticked upward after a slump.

"Throughout this year's crisis, our system has remained focused on its beverages for life strategy", said chairman and chief executive James Quincey. "We are prepared for setbacks due to the local spikes in cases and targeted restrictions and closures".

"We're forever grateful to Tab for paving the way for the diets and lights category, and to the legion of Tab lovers who have embraced the brand for almost six decades", said Kerri Kopp, group director of Diet Coke for Coca-Cola North America.

"We've been challenging legacy ways of doing business and the pandemic helped us realize we could be bolder in our efforts", Quincey said.

In addition to Tab, Coca-Cola recently announced that it will discontinue a handful of brands that the beverage giant deemed outdated and unsuccessful. Quincey said the 200 brands that are getting the ax have already been decided, yet he did not provide a list of which brands those were.

"The company expects to offer a portfolio of approximately 200 master brands, an approximate 50% reduction from the current number, and phase out some products, such as ZICO and TaB", the company said in a release.

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. The company simply wants to devote fewer resources and shelf space to products that aren't performing well.

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