Responsibility for Coca-Cola and its sister brands in the UK is shared between two strategically linked but financially separate companies. Coca-Cola Great Britain is the local subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company and is responsible for marketing and overall management of the American group's local brands. However, manufacturing, sales and distribution are all managed by an independent company, Coca-Cola European Partners, formed in 2016 from the merger of what were previously three separate bottling companies in Europe. Coca-Cola Company has a large minority shareholding. That company continues to dominate the UK drinks market. Supermarket retail sales in 2018 were £1.5bn, up over 11% on the year before (Nielsen Scantrack) and more than double the next biggest competitor Britvic. That was equivalent to 24% market share. The Coca-Cola brand family alone accounted for sales of almost £1.3bn, up 13%. Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper and Schweppes mixers were all among the Top Ten carbonated brands with almost £495m in sales between them. Other key brands include Monster and Buxton mineral water, and Coca-Cola is also the owner of Innocent Drinks, which operates separately. Licensed premises contributed another £1.7bn and food-service outlets including quick-serve restaurants £1.5bn, equivalent to combined 45% share. Corporate entity Coca-Cola European Partners Great Britain reported revenues of £1.83bn for 2017, with net profit of £242m.
Capsule checked 25th February 2019
Which agencies handle advertising for Coca-Cola GB? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments.
Who are the competitors of The Coca-Cola Company? See Non Alcoholic Beverages Sector index
Account assignments & selected contact information
Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.
Historical profile information for Coca-Cola GB
Adbrands Social Media 30th Jul 2019: "Magic of Coke Taste". Despite a title that reads like it was copied off a Japanese slogan T-shirt, Wieden & Kennedy London's new brand campaign for Coca-Cola is pretty good. Better by far than any of the dismal spots being unleashed by McCann and others for Diet Coke. It's that W&K magic, of course, undercutting even the most literal minds at Coke HQ. ("Here's the thing about Diet Coke; it's delicious..." Barf!) A little bit more of an edge would be nice, but at least there's a renewed commitment to creative imagination.
Adbrands Social Media 7th Feb 2019: "Where Everyone Plays". To support Coca-Cola's new portfolio-wide sponsorship of the English Premier League, M&C Saatchi delivers this warm-hearted tribute to all the fans who help to make the game what it is. It's Coke's first portfolio sponsorship in the UK, covering not just the flagship brand but Sprite, Fanta and all the rest. The ad's a charmer, an engaging blend of fan portraits filmed straight combined with some offbeat, even surreal touches. For example, why exactly is that piece of battered cod seemingly possessed by media pundit Jermaine Jenas? And how about the scarf-wearing snail? But our favourite bit is the hardcore Hammers: "We're West Ham. We ain't singing."
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Apr 2017: The British government's proposed sugar tax, due to come into force in a year's time, could cost Coca-Cola well over £200m a year in additional expense, according to trade source The Grocer. That's far above any of its rivals, not just because of the company's local market leadership, but also the strength of its core red Coke product. Despite the popularity of Diet Coke and strong growth by Coke Zero Sugar, red Coke still accounts for half of the brand family's total volumes. By contrast, less than 30% of sales for the local Pepsi family are for full-sugar products. Under the proposed scheme, soft drinks will be taxed 24p per litre for products containing 8g or more of sugar per 100 ml, and 18p per litre for between 5g and 8g. Red Coke sold around 515m litres in 2016 through retailers and another 319m litres in pubs and restaurants. The £200m estimate doesn't include additional tax due on other drinks like mid-cal Fanta and Dr Pepper.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Aug 2015: Three of the world's biggest bottlers of Coca-Cola products are to merge to create a massive giant whose operations cover most of Western Europe. Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) currently manages Great Britain, Scandinavia, France and Benelux markets. Headquartered for tax purposes in the US, it is entirely independent of the Coca-Cola drinks company, although it bottles and distributes the latter's products under long-term license. Under the new arrangement, it will acquire its counterparts in Germany and the Iberian peninsula to create a new pan-European group with sales of over $12bn, to be called Coca-Cola European Partners. Significantly the deal allows CCE to shift its tax base out of the US and into the lower-rated UK, and also gives Coca-Cola Company - current owner of the German bottling business - an 18% holding in the enlarged group, which covers 13 countries and more than 300m customers. CCE chief executive John Brock will retain that role in the merged entity. The deal also raised questions about a possible future bid for part or all of Coca-Cola Hellenic, the separate group also based in London which manages bottling for Ireland, Italy and Austria, as well as most of Central & Eastern Europe.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Apr 2014: Industry watcher Beverage Digest published a gloomy analysis of the US liquid refreshment (LRB) market, saying that "challenging recent trends... continued and worsened in 2013". There were no such problems in the UK, according to the latest annual soft drinks report from Britvic, the local Pepsi licensee. Last year's summer heatwave pushed consumption to record levels. Volumes were up almost 2%, but the growing number of premium-priced products pushed up value, especially in the take-home market, by almost 4%. Total value topped £10bn for the first time. Grocery and convenience store channels accounted for sales of £7.5bn, with another £2.9bn from on-trade pubs and clubs. Cola was still the biggest seller, accounting for almost 22% of the retail market and 43% of on-trade. Juice and energy drinks were as usual the #2 and #3 take-home categories by value, but the most spectacular growth was seen in "cold hot drinks" like iced tea and coffee, with sales jumping by 47% year-on-year. Coca-Cola continues to dominate the local market with 30% overall share to 20% for Britvic.
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