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. It is already the world's biggest Coke bottler by revenues with operations in 13 countries across Western Europe. (Coca-Cola Company has only a 19% shareholding). In 2021 it got even bigger following the acquisition of Coca-Cola Amatil, the main bottler for Australasia and SE Asia. CCEP continues to dominate the UK drinks market, with 31% share of the total non-alcoholic ready to drink sector. Combined 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. In 2019, the Coca-Cola brand family alone accounted for take-home sales of £1.35bn. Monster was its second largest brand, and the #3 in the energy sector, with sales of £243m. Fanta was next at £217m, while Dr Pepper, Schweppes mixers and Sprite were also among the Top Ten carbonated brands with £220m in take-home sales between them. Glaceau Smartwater was the #6 bottled water. CCEP also handles retail distribution in the UK of independently owned Appletiser and Capri-Sun. 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 reported net revenues of €12.0bn in 2019 and net profit of €1.0bn. Great Britain accounted for 20% of revenues or €2.4bn. Damian Gammell is global CEO; Stephen Moorhouse is general manager of CCEP GB. Separate from its main soft drinks business, Coca-Cola also owns two other substantial UK-based business. Coca-Cola GB is the owner of Innocent Drinks, and in summer 2019, the group completed the acquisition (from Whitbread) of coffee retailer and roaster Costa Coffee for £3.9bn. It is the UK's leading coffee bar chain (ahead of Starbucks) with 2,700 outlets in the UK and Ireland, another 1,200 internationally, and also more than 8,500 self-serve Costa Express coffee-making machines in third-party retail outlets.
Capsule checked 11th December 2020
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Who are the competitors of The Coca-Cola Company? See Non Alcoholic Beverages Sector index
Historical profile information for Coca-Cola GB
Marketer Moves 22nd April 2021: New marketing leadership at Coca-Cola GB&I. See Marketer Moves (members only).
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 6th Sep 2018: There's a surprising new entrant in the global coffee retail business: Coca-Cola. In a deal that few observers had expected, Coke announced the acquisition of Costa Coffee, the world's third largest coffee retail business overall after Starbucks and McDonald's, but #1 in Europe. At $5.1bn, it will be Coke's biggest ever purchase, and its first move into direct-to-consumer retail. It is also a clear attempt to fend off potential competition from Europe-based investment group JAB Holding, which not only owns the world's most diversified packaged coffee business as well as several retail coffee bar and sandwich chains, but recently completed the takeover of Coke's soft drinks competitor Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Another rival Nestle owns not only the giant Nescafe and Nespresso coffee brands - and now the packaged Starbucks coffee brand as well - but is also a major competitor in soft drinks, primarily through its global bottled water operations. There are several key advantages to the Costa deal: that brand is already the biggest coffee bar chain in the EMEA region, slightly ahead of Starbucks by outlets. It also has an extensive global network of standalone self-serve vending machines located in service stations and grocery stores. In addition, said Coke CEO James Quincey, the deal provides an entry into the hot beverages sector. "Coffee is one of the fastest-growing beverage categories in the world," he told analysts. "It's also a category with many different elements, from vending to coffee shops to roast-and-ground to instant to pods and capsules. Costa is a platform with a great supply chain in coffee, a world-class roastery, a strong retail presence and a vending system... It also has potential for expansion into ready-to-drink coffee across many markets globally." The business is being acquired from hospitality group Whitbread, which had previously announced plans to spin off Costa as a separate company. Following completion, Whitbread's biggest remaining asset will be the budget hotel chain Premier Inn. Analysts predict that a takeover bid could follow from a larger hotel operator, such as InterContinental or Hilton.
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.
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