Coca-Cola will say goodbye to nearly 200 drinks and save money

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The Coca-Cola Company, the beverage business based in the US, is halving its very popular portfolio, by stopping the production of at least 200 beverage brands by the end of the year.

The money-saving move would make it possible for Coke to concentrate on its most profitable goods to “emerge stronger from the pandemic,” the company said in a news release.

The news comes almost a week after the beverage giant revealed it would discontinue its once-iconic sugar-free soft drink Tab which was available for more than 60 years around the world. The company said that other “underperforming” brands on the way out include Odwalla, ZICO coconut water, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry and some regional offerings such as Northern Neck Ginger Ale.

Popular “hydration” brands including Powerade and Dasani could also see cuts, Coca-Cola’s chairman and CEO James Quincey said.

“Throughout this year’s crisis, our system has remained focused on its beverages for life strategy,” Quincey said in a statement. “We are accelerating our transformation that was already underway, shaping our company to recover faster than the broader economic recovery. While many challenges still lie ahead, our progress in the quarter gives me confidence we are on the right path.”

Coca-Cola has more than 500 popular brands worldwide, like Sprite, Minute Maid, Honest Tea and Simply among others.

While explaining its ‘portfolio reset’ the business said it plans to phase out some brands by growing its current holdings by approximately 50 percent and offer a simplified portfolio of 200 master brands. The revision will make it possible for Coke to focus on its core products like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar as well as brands that fit into trendy new categories, like Topo Chico hard seltzer and AHA, a caffeinated seltzer the company launched last year.

“We’re challenging ourselves to think differently about our brands to accelerate our transformation to a total beverage company,” said Cath Coetzer, global head of innovation and marketing operations for Coca-Cola. “This isn’t about paring down to a specific number of product offerings under our brands. The objective is to drive impact and growth.”

Coca-Cola has had a hard time during the pandemic because of restaurant closures. In the third quarter of the year, its net revenues declined 9% to $8.7 billion.