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Coca-Cola Market Opportunity

The Coca-Cola Company has long been a worldwide business. The first soda fountain sales to Canada and Mexico were recorded in 1897 with the first international bottler established in Panama in 1906. Coca-Cola entered China in 1927 and the 100th country, Sierra Leone, in 1957.

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Today, the Coca-Cola Company is the largest beverage company with the most extensive distribution system in the world. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, the international growth of Coca-Cola had been rather haphazard.

It began in 1900, when Charles Howard Candler, eldest son of Asa Candler, took a jug of syrup with him on vacation to England. A modest order for five gallons of syrup was mailed back to Atlanta. The same year, Coca-Cola travelled to Cuba and Puerto Rico, and it wasn’t long before the international distribution of syrup began. Through the early 1900s, bottling operations were built in Cuba, Panama, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam (western Pacific island). In 1920, a bottling company began operating in France as the first bottler of Coca-Cola on the European continent. In 1926, Robert W.

Woodruff, chief executive officer and chairman of the board, committed the company to organized international expansion by establishing the Foreign Department, which in 1930 became a subsidiary known as the Coca-Cola Export Corporation. By that time, the number of countries with bottling operations had almost quadrupled, and the company had initiated a partnership with the Olympic Games that transcended cultural boundaries. Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games began their association in the summer of 1928, when an American freighter arrived in Amsterdam carrying the United States Olympic team and 1,000 cases of Coca-Cola.

Forty thousand spectators filled the stadium to witness two firsts: the first lighting of the Olympic flame and the first sale of Coke at an Olympiad. Dressed in caps and coats bearing the Coca-Cola trademark, vendors satisfied the fans’ thirst, while outside the stadium, refreshment stands, cafes, restaurants, and small shops called ‘winkles’ served Coke in bottles and from soda fountains. The company began a major push to establish bottling operations outside the USA. Plants were opened in France, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Belgium, Italy, and South Africa.

By the time the Second World War began, Coca-Cola was being bottled in forty-four countries, including those on both sides of the conflict. Far from devastating the business, the war simply presented a new set of challenges and opportunities for the entire Coca-Cola system. The entry of the United States into the war brought an order from Robert Woodruff in 1941 ‘to see that every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents, wherever he is and whatever it costs the Company. This effort to supply the armed forces with Coke was being launched when an urgent cablegram arrived from General Dwight Eisenhower’s Allied Headquarters in North Africa. Dated 29 June 1943, it requested shipment of materials and equipment for ten bottling plants. Prefaced by the directive that the shipments were not to replace other military cargo, the cablegram also requested shipment of 3 million filled bottles of Coca-Cola, along with supplies for producing the same quantity twice monthly.

Within six months, a company engineer had flown to Algiers and opened the first plant, the forerunner of sixty four bottling plants shipped abroad during the Second World War. The plants were set up as close as possible to combat areas in Europe and the Pacific. More than 5 billion bottles of Coke were consumed by military service personnel during the war, in addition to countless servings through dispensers and mobile, self-contained units in battle areas. But the presence of Coca-Cola did more than just lift the morale of the troops. In many areas, it gave local people their first taste of Coca-Cola.

When peace returned, the Coca-Cola system was poised for unprecedented worldwide growth. From the mid-1940s until 1960, the number of countries with bottling operations nearly doubled. As the world emerged from a time of conflict, Coca-Cola emerged as a worldwide symbol of friendship and refreshment. The Coca-Cola Company is now operating in more than 200 countries and producing nearly 400 brands; the Coca-Cola system has successfully applied a simple formula on a global scale: provide a moment of refreshment for a very small amount of money-a billion times a day.

The Coca-Cola Company and its network of bottlers comprise the most sophisticated and pervasive production and distribution system in the world. From Boston to Beijing, from Montreal to Moscow, Coca-Cola, more than any other consumer product, has brought pleasure to thirsty consumers around the globe. 1. Trace the Internationalisation / Globalisation model of coco cola. 2. What were the Triggers & Motives for coco cola to global? 3. Why do you think coco cola was so successful despite the fact that ‘food & drinks’ preferences are highly local like in case of tea/ coffee?