CNBC ORIGINAL TAKES A NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN LOOK INSIDE THE WORLD'S MOST RECOGNIZABLE BRAND
One-Hour Documentary Reported by CNBC's Melissa Lee Premieres on CNBC on Wednesday, November 11th at 9PM ET/PT
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., October 29, 2009-It's a 67 billion dollar empire that sells its products in 206 countries and in the farthest reaches of the globe. It's the most iconic enterprise in the history of American business. But despite being the number one beverage company in the world, Coca-Cola is battling new competition and fighting to maintain its supremacy on its home ground.
On Wednesday, November 11th at 9PM ET/PT, CNBC presents "Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing," a CNBC Original reported by Melissa Lee. With unprecedented access, CNBC pulls back the curtain on the planet's most recognizable brand and takes viewers inside Coca-Cola's race to find its next blockbuster beverage.
The one-hour documentary delivers an exclusive look at Coca-Cola's hidden corporate testing ground and secret archives, both never seen by the public ...until now. For the first time, television cameras were allowed inside the company's state-of-the-art Innovation Lab. Filled with virtual stores, restaurants and drive-thrus, this is the "war room" where Coke figures out how to get its drinks in your hand, by studying the psychology of consumer behavior. And, Lee explores Coca-Cola's secret archives, taking viewers through the company's historic and unforgettable marketing campaigns that not only captured the world's attention, but also turned Coke into a familiar cultural presence.
With soda sales slipping in North America and consumers demanding healthier choices, it has never been more critical for Coca-Cola to create or discover the next million-dollar brand; Coke was beaten to the punch by archrival Pepsi in the push to quench the public's thirst for sports drinks and other products beyond soda. CNBC takes you inside Coca-Cola's new Ventures and Emerging Brands unit as it seeks out the next big beverage trend and partners with upstart brands in the search for liquid gold.
Coca-Cola goes to great lengths to get its products to buyers in emerging markets. Lee travels to South Africa where in some cases, distribution relies on unconventional and primitive means. Coke taps into local passions to build the popularity of its name, often spending huge sums to do it. In Africa, Coke is committing hundreds of millions of dollars to sponsor the 2010 World Cup. Local film student Mfundo Mkhize has become a celebrity after directing and starring in a soccer-inspired commercial he created for the company.
CNBC also looks at the company's latest hi-tech contribution to beverage technology: the Freestyle Jet Machine-a next generation "soda fountain on steroids" that puts buyers in the driver's seat. With a sleek design and touch screen technology, consumers can custom-make drinks to satisfy their own taste buds by blending up to 104 variations of Coca-Cola's sodas, juices, teas and flavored water. And, while buyers are filling their cups, the Freestyle is funneling priceless data to Coca-Cola headquarters about how much and even when each drink combination is being poured. It's marketing treasure for Coke.
And, CNBC looks at the business of Coca-Cola's bottlers. They do something that the Coca-Cola Company itself doesn't do: make Coca-Cola. CNBC uncovers the often-tense relationship between the company and the people who actually make and distribute Coke's drinks.
Melissa Lee is host of CNBC's "Fast Money" (Mon-Thurs, 5PM ET/ Fridays, 5PM & 8PM ET) and host of CNBC's "Options Action" (Fridays, 8:30PM ET). Mitch Weitzner is the Senior Executive Producer of "Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing." James Segelstein is Senior Producer. Ray Borelli is the Vice President of Strategic Research, Scheduling and Long Form Programming.
For more information including web extras, slideshows and extended video clips, log on to: insidecoke.cnbc.com.
"Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing" will re-air on Wednesday, November 11th at 10PM ET/PT, Thursday, November 12th at 8PM ET and Sunday, November 15th at 10PM ET.
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