The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company
The Goca Cola Company
Type Public
Traded as NYSEKO
Dow Jones Component
S&P 500 Component
Industry Beverage
Founded 1892 (1892)
Founder(s) Asa Candler
Headquarters Coca-Cola headquarters,
Atlanta, Georgia
, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Muhtar Kent
(Chairman & CEO)
Products List of The Coca Cola Company products
Revenue increase US$ 35.119 billion (2010)[1]
Operating income increase US$ 08.449 billion (2010)[1]
Net income increase US$ 11.809 billion (2010)[1]
Total assets increase US$ 72.921 billion (2010)[1]
Total equity increase US$ 31.317 billion (2010)[1]
Employees 139,600 (2010)[1]
Subsidiaries List of The Coca Cola Company subsidiaries
One of the Coca-Cola Company's headquarters buildings in Atlanta

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSEKO) is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups.[2] The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia.[3] The Coca-Cola formula and brand was bought in 1889 by Asa Candler who incorporated The Coca-Cola Company in 1892. Besides its namesake Coca-Cola beverage, Coca-Cola currently offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries or territories and serves over 1.7 billion servings each day.[4]

The company operates a franchised distribution system dating from 1889 where The Coca-Cola Company only produces syrup concentrate which is then sold to various bottlers throughout the world who hold an exclusive territory. The Coca-Cola Company owns its anchor bottler in North America, Coca-Cola Refreshments.

The Coca-Cola Company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Its stock is listed on the NYSE and is part of DJIA, S&P 500 Index, the Russell 1000 Index and the Russell 1000 Growth Stock Index. Its current chairman and chief executive is Muhtar Kent.



The company has a long history of acquisitions. Coca-Cola acquired Minute Maid in 1960,[5] the Indian cola brand Thums Up in 1993,[6] and Barq's in 1995.[7] In 2001, it acquired the Odwalla brand of fruit juices, smoothies and bars for $181 million.[8] In 2007, it acquired Fuze Beverage from founder Lance Collins and Castanea Partners for an estimated $250 million.[9] The company's 2009 bid to buy a Chinese juice maker ended when China rejected its $4.2 billion bid for the Huiyuan Juice Group on the grounds that it would be a virtual monopoly. Nationalism was also thought to be a reason for aborting the deal.[10] In 1982 Coca-Cola made its only non-beverage acquisition, when it purchased Columbia Pictures for $692 million. It sold the movie studio to Sony for $1.5 billion in 1989.[11]


The Coca-Cola Company's Minute Maid group North America offices in Sugar Land Town Square, Sugar Land, Texas, United States

According to the 2005 Annual Report,[12] the company sells beverage products in more than 200[13] countries. The report further states that of the more than 50 billion beverage servings of all types consumed worldwide every day, beverages bearing the trademarks owned by or licensed to Coca-Cola account for approximately 1.5 billion (the latest figure in 2010 shows that now they serve 1.6 billion drinks every day). Of these, beverages bearing the trademark "Coca-Cola" or "Coke" accounted for approximately 78% of the Company's total gallon sales.

Also according to the 2007 Annual Report, Coca-Cola had gallon sales distributed as follows:

  • 42% in the United States
  • 37% in Mexico,India, Brazil, Japan and the People's Republic of China
  • 20% spread throughout the rest of the world

In 2010 it was announced that Coca-Cola had become the first brand to top £1 billion in annual UK grocery sales.[14]


In the U.S., Coca-Cola is a major lobbying force working to gain favorable legislation for the beverage industry. In both 2005 and 2006, it spent $1 million each year on lobbying. In 2007 that increased to $1.7 million, and by 2008, to $2.5 million. In 2009, total lobbying expenses jumped to $4.5 million, or nearly double the previous year. Much of the increased lobbying expenses are due to the industry’s fight against increased taxes on soft drinks and other sweetened beverages.[15] For 2009, Coca-Cola has 38 lobbyists at 7 different firms lobbying on its behalf.[16]


In general, The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) and/or subsidiaries only produce syrup concentrate, which is then sold to various bottlers throughout the world who hold a Coca-Cola franchise. Coca-Cola bottlers, who hold territorially exclusive contracts with the company, produce the finished product in cans and bottles from the concentrate in combination with filtered water and sweeteners. The bottlers then sell, distribute and merchandise the resulting Coca-Cola product to retail stores, vending machines, restaurants and food service distributors.

One notable exception to this general relationship between TCCC and bottlers is fountain syrups in the United States, where TCCC bypasses bottlers and is responsible for the manufacture and sale of fountain syrups directly to authorized fountain wholesalers and some fountain retailers.

Civil Rights

After Dr. King won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, plans for an interracial celebration in still-segregated Atlanta were not initially well supported by the city's business elite until Coca-Cola intervened.[17]

J. Paul Austin, the chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, and Mayor Ivan Allen summoned key Atlanta business leaders to the Commerce Club's eighteenth floor dining room, where Austin told them flatly, 'It is embarrassing for Coca-Cola to be located in a city that refuses to honor its Nobel Prize winner. We are an international business. The Coca-Cola Co. does not need Atlanta. You all need to decide whether Atlanta needs the Coca-Cola Co.' Within two hours of the end of that meeting, every ticket to the dinner was sold.
—Andrew Young [18]


The Coca-Cola Company has been involved in controversies and lawsuits related to allegations of human rights violations and other unethical practices.

A number of lawsuits have been filed in relation to its allegedly monopolistic and discriminatory practices, some of which have been dismissed, some of which have caused The Coca-Cola Company to change its business practices, and some of which have been settled out of court.[19] There have been continuing criticisms regarding the Coca-Cola Company's relation to the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy.

The company has been criticised on a number of environmental issues. An issue with pesticides in groundwater in 2003 led to problems for the company when an Indian NGO, Centre for Science and Environment, announced that it had found cancer causing chemicals in Coca-Cola as well as other soft drinks produced by the company, at levels 30 times that considered safe by the European Economic Commission. This caused an 11 percent drop in Indian Coca-Cola sales.[20][21] The Indian Health Minister said the CSE tests were inaccurate, and said that the government's tests found pesticide levels within India's standards but above EU standards.[22][23] The UK-based Central Science Laboratory, commissioned by Coke, found its products met EU standards in 2006.[24] Coke and the University of Michigan commissioned an independent study of its bottling plants by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), which reported in 2008 no unsafe chemicals in the water supply, though it criticized Coke for the impact of its water usage on local supply.[25]

Critics claim that the company's overuse of local water supplies in some locations has led to severe shortages for regional farmers and the forced closure of some plants.[26] Packaging used in Coca-Cola's products have a significant environmental impact. However, the company strongly opposes attempts to introduce mechanisms such as container deposit legislation.[27]

There are charges that the Coca-Cola Company was involved in the violent repression of a union at several of its bottling plants in Colombia, South America. As of August 2005, when PBS's Frontline ran a story on the controversy, Coca-Cola strenuously denied all allegations of union-busting and murder of union leaders. Shareholders and U.S. colleges[28][29] have boycotted Coca-Cola to try to put pressure on the company to approve a full-scale, independent investigation of the charges.[30]

On December 10, 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote to Mr. Muhtar Kent, President and Chief Executive Officer, to warn him that the FDA had concluded that Coca-Cola's product Diet Coke Plus 20 FL OZ was is in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.[31] During an interview with Reuters, the Coca Cola company's spokesman, Scot Williams, stated, "This does not involve any health or safety issues, and we believe the label on Diet Coke Plus complies with FDA's policies and regulations."[32]

In January 2009, the US consumer group the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a class-action lawsuit against Coca-Cola.[33] The lawsuit was in regards to claims made, along with the company's flavors, of Vitamin Water. Claims say that the 33 grams of sugar are more harmful than the vitamins and other additives are helpful. Coca-Cola insists the suit is "ridiculous."[34][35]

Products and brands

The Coca-Cola Company offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries, besides its namesake Coca-Cola beverage.

Tab was Coca-Cola's first attempt to develop a diet soft drink, using saccharin as a sugar substitute. Introduced in 1963, the product is still sold today, although its sales have dwindled since the introduction of Diet Coke.

The Coca-Cola Company also produces a number of other soft drinks including Fanta (introduced circa 1941) and Sprite. Fanta's origins date back to World War II when Max Keith, who managed Coca-Cola's operations in Germany during the war, wanted to make money from Nazi Germany but did not want the negative publicity. Keith resorted to producing a different soft drink, Fanta, which proved to be a hit, and when Coke took over again after the war, it adopted the Fanta brand as well. The German Fanta Klare Zitrone ("Clear Lemon Fanta") variety became Sprite, another of the company's bestsellers and its response to 7 Up.

Coca-Cola South Africa also released Valpre Bottled "still" and "sparkling" water.

During the 1990s, the company responded to the growing consumer interest in healthy beverages by introducing several new non-carbonated beverage brands. These included Minute Maid Juices to Go, Powerade sports beverage, flavored tea Nestea (in a joint venture with Nestle), Fruitopia fruit drink and Dasani water, among others. In 2001, Minute Maid division launched the Simply Orange brand of juices including orange juice.

In 2004, perhaps in response to the burgeoning popularity of low-carbohydrate diets such as the Atkins Diet, Coca-Cola announced its intention to develop and sell a low-carbohydrate alternative to Coke Classic, dubbed C2 Cola. C2 contains a mix of high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose, and Acesulfame potassium. C2 is designed to more closely emulate the taste of Coca-Cola Classic. Even with less than half of the food energy and carbohydrates of standard soft drinks, C2 is not a replacement for zero-calorie soft drinks such as Diet Coke. C2 went on sale in the U.S. on June 11, 2004, and in Canada in August 2004. C2's future is uncertain due to disappointing sales.

Coca-Cola is the best-selling soft drink in most countries, and was recognized as the number one global brand in 2010.[36] While the Middle East is one of the only regions in the world where Coca-Cola is not the number one soda drink, Coca-Cola nonetheless holds almost 25% marketshare (to Pepsi's 75%) and had double-digit growth in 2003.[37] Similarly, in Scotland, where the locally produced Irn-Bru was once more popular, 2005 figures show that both Coca-Cola and Diet Coke now outsell Irn-Bru.[38] In Peru, the native Inca Kola has been more popular than Coca-Cola, which prompted Coca-Cola to enter in negotiations with the soft drink's company and buy 50% of its stakes. In Japan, the best selling soft drink is not cola, as (canned) tea and coffee are more popular.[39] As such, the Coca-Cola Company's best selling brand there is not Coca-Cola, but Georgia.[40]

On July 6, 2006, a Coca-Cola employee and two other people were arrested and charged with trying to sell trade secrets information to the soft drink maker's competitor, PepsiCo for $1.5 million. The recipe for Coca-Cola, perhaps the company's most closely guarded secret, was never in jeopardy. Instead, the information was related to a new beverage in development. Coca-Cola executives verified that the documents were valid and proprietary. At least one glass vial containing a sample of a new drink was offered for sale, court documents said. The conspiracy was revealed by PepsiCo, which notified the authorities when they were approached by the conspirators.[41]

The company announced a new "negative calorie" green tea drink, Enviga, in 2006, along with trying coffee retail concepts Far Coast and Chaqwa.

On May 25, 2007, Coca-Cola announced it would purchase Glaceau, a maker of flavored vitamin-enhanced drinks (vitamin water), flavored waters, and Burn energy drinks, for $4.1 billion in cash.[42]

On September 3, 2008, Coca-Cola announced its intention to make cash offers to purchase China Huiyuan Juice Group Limited (which has a 42% share of the Chinese pure fruit juice market[43]) for US$2.4bn (HK$12.20 per share).[44] China's ministry of commerce blocked the deal on March 18, 2009, arguing that the deal would hurt small local juice companies, could have pushed up juice market prices and limited consumers’ choices.[45]

In October 2009, Coca-Cola revealed its new 90-calorie mini can that holds 7.5 fluid ounces.[46] The first shipments are expected to reach the New York City and Washington D.C. markets in December 2009 and nationwide by March 2010.[46]

Cola-Cola operates a soft drink themed tourist attraction in downtown Atlanta, Ga; the "World of Coca-Cola" is a multi-storied exhibition of the many flavors sold by the company as well as a museum to the history of the company.



Coca-Cola sponsored the English Football League from the beginning of the 2004–05 season (beginning August 2004) to the start of 2010/11 season, when the Football League found a new sponsor in NPower.

Along with this, Coca-Cola sponsored the Coca-Cola Football Camp, otherwise known as a soccer camp, that took place in Pretoria, South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, during which hundreds of teenagers from around the world were able to come together and share their love of the game, partly due to Best Buy's efforts through their @15 program.[47]

Other major sponsorships include NASCAR, the NBA, the PGA Tour, NCAA Championships, the Olympic Games, the NRL, the FIFA World Cups and the UEFA Euro.

In the Philippines, it has a team in the Philippine Basketball Association, the Powerade Tigers.


The company sponsors the hit Fox singing-competition series American Idol. Coca-Cola is a sponsor of the nightly talk show on PBS, Charlie Rose in the US.[48]

In video games

In PlayStation Home, the PlayStation 3's online community-based service, Coca-Cola placed a vending machine in Home that took users to a space called the "Georgia Break Station". The vending machine also distributed original avatar items and presented, along with "C-pons", digital coupons that could be used to get real drinks from real vending machines. This was to promote Coca-Cola's Georgia series of canned coffee. The space was a lounge where users could sit and chat and included two in-lounge avatars that told the users about the Georgia coffee. It was available from September 7, 2009 to December 17, 2009 in the Japanese version of Home.[49][unreliable source?]

In Dreamcast's Shenmue in 1999, Coca-Cola was featured in the Japanese only version when the main character Ryo Hazuki finds vending machines on the street corners in the video game, and actual cans that were sold in Japan in 1986, the setting of the video game. Sometimes, Ryo gets a special can which can be turned in for prizes.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "2010 Form 10-K, The Coca-Cola Company". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  2. ^ Coca-Cola Products: New Coca-Cola Products, Brands of Beverages & More
  3. ^ Coca Cola in Columbus
  4. ^ Coca-Cola FAQs – General
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Coca-Cola Brand Fact Sheets: Barq's.
  8. ^ "Coke Buys Odwalla". (Oct. 30, 2001). CNN Money.
  9. ^ "Coca-Cola Buys Fuze Beverage". (Feb. 12, 2007) Boulder Daily Camera.
  10. ^ "Coke's China juice move collapses". BBC News. March 18, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  11. ^ Sellers, Patricia; Woods, Wilton (1997-10-13). "WHERE COKE GOES FROM HERE". Fortune. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Coca Cola Company Form 10-K 2005". SEC. Retrieved May 11, 2006. 
  13. ^ this being somewhat more countries than are generally agreed to exist
  14. ^ "Coke sales first to top £1bn". Edinburgh Evening News. March 19, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  15. ^ Center for Responsive Politics, Coca-Cola Company, Nov 20, 2009
  16. ^ Center for Responsive Politics, Coca-Cola, Nov 20, 2009
  17. ^ "NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: In 1964, award to King stirred a storm". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. December 10, 2002. 
  18. ^ Andrew Young (1996). An Easy Burden. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-060928902. OCLC 34782719. 
  19. ^ "Daily Briefing". Atlanta Journal-Constitution: p. C2. May 11, 2001. "WKMX Inc., an FM radio station, filed a lawsuit, alleging that Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. and its biggest bottler stole the station's name and colors for its KMX energy drink. In a federal suit filed in Dothan, WKMX said it's the top station for young adult listeners in its market and has used those call letters since 1974." 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "India gives cola giants all-clear". CNN. August 21, 2003. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  23. ^ George, Nirmala (August 22, 2003). "Colas called safe, but not at EU standards". The San Diego Union. 
  24. ^ "UK experts say Indian Coke 'safe'". BBC News. August 14, 2006. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  25. ^ Sharma, Ashok (January 15, 2008). "Water in Coca-Cola in India pesticide free". USA Today. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ Coca-Cola: Shareholder Resolution
  28. ^ "Coca-Cola Ban Goes Into Effect at New York University". New York University – Office of Public Affairs. December 8, 2005. 
  29. ^ Warner, Melanie (December 31, 2005). "U. of Michigan Becomes 10th College to Join Boycott of Cokepublicers". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ "Background on Violence Against Union Members in Colombia". USLEAP. 
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  32. ^
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  34. ^ Vitamnwater Lawsuit
  35. ^ "Coca-Cola sued over VitaminWater claims". MSNBC. 
  36. ^ [1]
  37. ^ "Coke and Pepsi battle it out". AME Info. April 8, 2004. Retrieved May 11, 2006. 
  38. ^ Terry Murden (January 30, 2005). "Coke adds life to health drinks sector". Scotland On Sunday (UK). Retrieved May 11, 2006. 
  39. ^ Japan Soft Drink Association
  40. ^ Coca-Cola West Japan IR report (in Japanese), 2008.
  41. ^ Day, Kathleen (July 6, 2006). "3 Accused In Theft Of Coke Secrets". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 15, 2006. 
  42. ^ Stanford, Duane (May 25, 2007). "Coke to buy Glaceau in $4 billion deal". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on May 27, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2007. 
  43. ^ Tucker, Sundeep (March 17, 2009). "Coca-Cola’s $2.4bn China deal at risk". Financial Times (Hong Kong). Retrieved March 17, 2009. 
  45. ^ Tucker, Sundeep (March 18, 2009). "China blocks Coca-Cola bid for Huiyuan". Financial Times (Hong Kong). Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  46. ^ a b Plumb, Tierney (October 14, 2009). "Coca-Cola to unveil mini cans in D.C.". Washington Business Journal/ 
  47. ^ "Teens Gear up for Soccer in South Africa". Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  48. ^ [2]
  49. ^ "Coca Cola Ties Up with Home". 
  • Zyman, Sergio (June 1, 1999). The End of Marketing as We Know It. New York: HarperBusiness. ISBN 0-88730-986-0. 

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