[ Associated Press, The • 2011-10-18 ]
The Coca-Cola Co. reported its third-quarter results Tuesday [Oct. 18, 2011]. The world's largest beverage maker said that its profit increased 8 percent, helped by stronger sales volume and higher prices.
The company has come up with new packaging, increased marketing and made other changes to help drive sales volume growth globally in a tough economy. Some of that growth is coming from sales of drinks that people consume on-the-go. Analysts wanted to know more about this trend and the consumer mindset. CEO Muhtar Kent discussed those topics with them on a conference call.
QUESTION: You detailed the strong immediate consumption trends in the quarter. Can you review the key drivers behind that growth and also going forward, the level of risk that you think potentially slowing macro could have on immediate consumption threats?
RESPONSE: Well, they've had an impact. Mobility has gone down. More people are moving towards in-house entertainment. But we saw those trends and we invested against those to ensure that we would actually continue to drive our immediate consumption business, whether it is on the streets of Italy, or whether it is on the streets of Shanghai, or in Africa, and so what does that entail?
That entails more cold-drink equipment, targeted cold-drink equipment. That included a new architecture of packaging, and pricing, that would make it more attractive for on-the-go consumers to find packages that were affordable for them. We did that in China, and successfully in parts of Asia, successfully in many parts of Eurasia, as we did here in America. And I think it has worked and you've heard me just announce also that we will be launching even more new on-the-go packages here in the United States.
So this strategy of investment, investment ahead of the curve, in infrastructure, particularly in cold-drink infrastructure, coupled with the intelligent-packaging moves, progressive packaging moves, have helped us in this area, and will continue to help us.