September 8, 2005
Coke's Finally "Got Milk?"
Having worked for large CPGs (Consumer Packaged Goods companies), it was amusing to see what those writing about the company observed versus what was actually happening within the company.
That said, some of the reasons that Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), Coca-Cola’s largest bottler, inked a 10-year distribution agreement with Bravo! Foods International rather than the Coca-Cola Corporation may be that
- CCE was able to move much faster to capitalize on an opportunity
- Coca-Cola, in recent years, seems to be following rather than innovating and leading
- Organizational changes at the top and in the marketing organization have been somewhat distracting from marketplace trends and needs
- CCE can function as a quasi co-packer whose historic role is to minimize risk until a new product is established in the marketplace
Believe it or not, although we are a name development company, we recognize that many elements of the marketing mix must work in harmony for a successful product introduction. We did identify, however, that one of Coke’s earlier attempts, in 2003, at a milk-based product called “Swerve,” did not connect with consumers. For instance, only 8% of consumers unaided thought it was a beverage while 29% felt it related to a car/driving.
Bravo!’s vitamin-fortified, flavored milk Slammers brand will be distributed by CCE to C-stores, vending and schools. This is an obvious good move for Coke since there is growing concern and criticism of soft drink companies targeting school children and the growing concern about childhood obesity and Type II diabetes.
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