Our Way Forward 2017 Update
At The Coca-Cola Company, we have made the decisive shift to become a total beverage company. We are giving people around the world more of the drinks they want and how they want them – whether that means less sugar, more natural sources, or organic. Because we agree that people should not eat or drink too much sugar, we are taking specific, meaningful actions, including reducing sugar in our drinks to help people everywhere more easily control added sugar.
Many of our brands are available in reduced and no-sugar options, and we are taking action to provide smaller, more convenient package sizes, introduce new reduced and no-sugar drinks and drive innovation across our total beverage portfolio.
Inside the Bottle
Our focus “inside the bottle” is simple – to reduce sugar in our beverages wherever we can while bringing a wide range of exciting new drinks to people around the world.
In 2017, we reduced sugar in more than 300 of our drinks globally, while introducing more than 500 new products across a total beverage portfolio. We also have plans in the pipeline to reduce sugar in over 400 more drinks. Our 2017 Global Unit Case Volume was spread across the following categories (excluding the energy drinks category): sparkling soft drinks (70 percent); water, enhanced water and sports drinks (18 percent); juice, dairy and plant-based beverages (8 percent); and tea and coffee (4 percent).
Our reformulated Coca-Cola Zero SugarTM launched in 20 markets in 2017, including the United States, with a great-tasting new recipe very well accepted by consumers. The brand also had a popular introduction in Chile, where the brand grew in 2017, indicating greater brand awareness and acceptance of zero-calorie beverages. There, we reduced sugar content in our products, engaging with stakeholders along the journey.
We started on a journey to reduce the amount of sugar in our beverages in Europe years ago, through a mix of different tools: reformulation, innovation, smaller portion sizes and promoting low-and no-calorie drinks. In 2017, we announced the next voluntary step in this journey to help consumers control their intake of sugar. With our bottling partners, and working closely with the rest of the European soft drinks industry and national associations, we are advancing the process toward the bold new commitment to reduce the average added sugar content of still and carbonated soft drinks in Europe by 10 percent between 2015 and 2020.
Over the summer of 2017 in the United States, we were one of the first major beverage companies to launch a new category of Aguas Frescas beverages: Barrilitos Aguas Frescas. These “fresh waters” beverages are fruit, seed, flower and non-carbonated water combinations with roots in Mexico and Central America. Containing 3-5 percent juice, most of the flavors are less than 100 calories per 12-ounce serving, and all are caffeine and gluten free.
All around the world, we’re building a whole stills portfolio that spans different categories. In the United Kingdom, innocent has invested in bringing new products to market, such as coconut water, and continued to grow its smoothie business in Western Europe in 2017. Also in 2017, we finalized the acquisition of AdeS, the leading soy-based beverage brand in Latin America. Moreover, in Spain we introduced Royal Bliss, a line of premium mixers with eight complex, nuanced flavors, including a zero-sugar option, available exclusively in glass bottles in restaurants and bars. The ultra-filtered milk from the fairlife brand, which focuses on exceptional cow care, smart and responsible farming and sustainable agriculture, captured 75 percent of the value-added dairy category’s growth in 2017.
Outside the Bottle
Because we know what we put inside our bottles is only half of the equation, we’re also taking actions “outside the bottle.” One of those actions is providing smaller, more convenient packaging, making it easier for people to control added sugar consumption and enjoy our drinks in the size they want. Smaller, more convenient packages are now available in more than 150 countries, and over 40 percent of the company’s sparkling brands are available in packages of 250 milliliter (8.5 ounces) or less.
Other actions we’re taking include continuing to put clear, easy-to-find nutrition information on packaging to support informed choices. And, we’re continuing to expand installations of Coca-Cola Freestyle, our touchscreen-operated beverage dispenser, which offers more than 100 sparkling and still beverage choices, including more than 70 reduced and no-sugar options and 90-plus caffeine-free selections.
In 2017, we continued our longstanding, global Responsible Marketing Policy, which includes not placing any of our brands’ marketing in media that directly targets children under 12. This includes television shows, print media, websites, social media, movies and SMS/email marketing. In addition to media placement restrictions, we do not develop creative marketing material that primarily appeals to children under 12, regardless of where the material will be placed.
In 2017, leading food and nonalcoholic beverage companies, including The Coca-ColaCompany, signed a pledge to continue development of products that help people maintain a balanced and healthy diet in Mexico; and strengthened pledges and self-regulatory systems in Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, India, New Zealand, Poland and the Netherlands.
Coca-Cola’s compliance with the EU Pledge not to advertise our brands on TV to children under 12, was monitored in 2017 by Accenture in Romania, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Germany and France, demonstrating very strong compliance. Also in 2017, the European Alliance for Standards in Advertising (EASA), of which we are a member, reviewed a number of our brand websites, social media profiles and mobile apps in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain and the Netherlands to measure compliance with the industry’s responsible marketing commitments. This third-party audit demonstrated extremely strong compliance.
Every day, we work to do what we have done best for more than 130 years: listen carefully to people and keep them at the heart of our business. That’s how we will continue to grow more sustainably and responsibly for generations to come.