14 Oct 2020 Coca-Cola further trims its product portfolio
Coca-Cola is discontinuing its coconut water brand Zico, seven years after it was acquired. The beverage maker is also reviewing several other drink brands in its portfolio, including Coke Life, as part of this offloading process.
“As part of our portfolio optimisation efforts, we can confirm that The Coca-Cola Company plans to phase out the Zico brand in the coming months globally,” a spokesperson of the company told FoodIngredientsFirst.
“This decision was not made lightly and comes at a time when we are hyper-focused on delivering on our consumers’ wants and needs while driving scaled growth across a total beverage portfolio.”
Coca-Cola acquired the remaining shares of Zico Beverages in 2013, a company in which it bought a majority stake in 2012.
“At this time, we can confirm that Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Coke Life, Northern Neck Ginger Ale and Delaware Punch are all under review as part of this process,” details the spokesperson.
“We can also confirm we are not discontinuing Hubert’s Lemonade. Instead, we are transitioning the brand to be available exclusively at food service locations,” they add.
“We are excited by the success we’ve seen with Hubert’s in the early phases of this transition and believe it will offer the best growth opportunity for this brand.”
Coca-Cola is undergoing a major restructuring following its steepest decline in quarterly sales in over 25 years, in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
Last August, soft drinks bottler Coca Cola HBC revealed a drop in H1 profits, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closures of restaurants and other hospitality venues. Net profit declined to €124-million ($146-million) during this period, compared to €195-million ($230.9-million) a year earlier.
The downsizing of Coca-Cola’s portfolio is dubbed an acceleration of its strategy, which it has been pursuing for the past several years. This focuses on building brands that prioritise scale in an effort to accelerate growth.
Meanwhile, in strategic launches this year, the beverage giant announced plans to launch Topo Chico Hard Seltzer into Latin America in 2021, as the trend for low-alcohol drinks continues to proliferate.
According to a company statement, Coca-Cola is “committed to exploring new products in dynamic beverage categories, including hard seltzer.”