Food & Beverage

Coca-Cola is turning to hard seltzer and sports drinks in a bid to stay on top

Share
VIDEO14:2114:21
How Coca-Cola became a global brand and cultural phenomenon

In this article

With more than 1.9 billion drinks served every day, Coca-Cola is one of the world's largest beverage companies.

From its humble beginnings selling a single product at a drugstore for 5 cents a glass, the company has grown to have a roster of 200 brands that includes Coke, Fanta and Sprite. 

With U.S. soda consumption on the decline, the soft drink maker has been forced to pivot. Coke recently launched Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, marking its first move into alcoholic beverages on its home turf after a four-decade long hiatus. The company has also recently invested in the sports performance drink category with BodyArmor and it purchased U.K. coffee maker Costa in 2019.

And while the pandemic has caused major disruptions to its profitable away-from-home beverage business, revenue rose 5% to $9 billion in the first quarter of 2021 from the prior year.

"We were very focused over the last 12 months on really improving our marketing, we cut the portfolio of brands in half, we got really focused on our innovation pipeline, we worked with our bottlers to really support the customers in new and different ways where they're open," said Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey.

Coke is eagerly anticipating the summer season and vaccine rollouts.

So after 135 years in business can the soft drink giant stay on top? And what will the secular decline of sugar-sweetened beverages in the U.S. mean for the future of Coca-Cola?

Watch the above video to find out more.

Watch more: