Coke is Coke because of its strong, concentrated, unique taste. It’s refreshing on a hot day, energizing when one needs a jolt, and a drink that almost reflexively makes you smile. Coca-Cola, the company, suffers from a lack of this same “concentration.”
The Coca-Cola Company (stock symbol KO) is looking into buying Cadbury Schweppes PLCs Motts and Snapple brands and probably will do so soon, as a way to grow sales in the hot non-carbonated drink areas and maintain shareholder value.
In my book, Coke’s growth has been retarded by the broadening of its portfolio over the years. Juices, waters, teas, and other non-carbonated drinks are the enemy of Coke, not its sisters. For years Coke has attempted to fend off these competing drink categories by marketing Minute Maid, Nestea, Dasani, etc. But these separate brands in the Company portfolio are diluting Coke’s manpower, womanpower, fiscal resources and strategic focus.
Coke needs to get Sergio Zyman back…and listen to him. Now before you say “this doofus doesn’t know Coke or the beverage category,” know this, I predicted Mary Minnick’s failure, without having ever stepped foot inside the Coke building.
Coke should focus its portfolio down to carbonated drinks – albeit healthier drink – and put its best people on the task. Right now, Coke is more like General Motors than Coke.