South Africa: Coca-Cola stays in touch with changing tastes and consumers preferences in the country


20 Oct 2017 --- Coca-Cola in South Africa, in line with its global long-term business strategy, is evolving to become a total beverage company that can be even more responsive to people’s changing tastes and needs. 

For years Coca-Cola has given people the drinks they want and love. However, times change and people expect the company to grow and change with them. This included not only rethinking many of its drinks and package sizes but also broadening its already diverse portfolio to include more brands across existing categories including juices, iced tea and purified water as well as new products such as dairy products and ready to drink coffee.

The company said it supported the current recommendation by several leading health authorities, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), that people should limit their intake of added sugar to no more than 10 percent of their total energy or calorie consumption. 

“We’re rethinking many of our drinks and package sizes around the world to reduce calories and sugar and reflect the changing tastes and dietary preferences of our consumers. We are also committed to providing a greater range of beverage choices for those wishing to moderate their sugar intake,” says Roger Gauntlett, the General Manager of Coca-Cola Africa’s South Africa Franchise.

Last year, The Coca-Cola Company reduced sugar in more than 200 of their drinks globally to help consumers drink less sugar.  Since 2014, the company has launched more than 100 new low- or no-calorie thirst quenchers worldwide in response to people’s changing preferences.

This means that approximately 30 percent of the more than 3,900 beverages produced by Coca-Cola globally fall into the low or no-sugar categories and 18 out of its 20 top brands now feature a low or no-sugar option.

As part of its long-term business strategy, The Coca-Cola Company said it would focus on bringing new drinks to market that provide benefits such as nutrition and hydration. It would also make smaller, more convenient packages to make controlling sugar easier and give people clear, easy-to-find calorie information up front to help them make truly informed choices.   

“We’re making low and no-sugar drinks more visible and educating people about our low and zero sugar options through our marketing,” says Mr. Gauntlett. 

In South Africa, over the last three years, the Coca-Cola system has reduced the average sugar content across the portfolio by 16 percent. Through their continuing reduction efforts, they aim to reach a total of 22-24 percent by the end of 2018.  This is ahead of industry commitment to 14-18 calories per person per day reduction by 2018. 

As part of a global strategy, The Coca-Cola Company has also been looking at ways to keep people’s’ favorite beverages affordable, while also recognizing their changing tastes and preferences. 

Market research showed that people were looking for packaging sizes that suit smaller households and that make it easier to control their added sugar intake. 

New pack sizes include a 300ml offering to replace the 330ml version; and a 440ml to replace the 500ml version.  

“The good news is that we can see that these changes are already having a positive impact and that people are switching from regular, full-sugar drinks to low-sugar alternatives,” says Gauntlett.   

He said the new way forward was the result of listening to the people we serve and making sure they are at the center of everything we do so that Coca-Cola in South Africa can grow responsibly.

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

UK: Ban sales of energy drinks to under 16s, urges Action on Sugar report

15 Dec 2017 --- A new study by campaign group Action on Sugar has revealed the sugar, calorie and caffeine content of energy drinks sold in the UK in 2015 and 2017 – and the results have reignited calls for a ban on sales to children under 16. Published in the BMJ Open by Action on Sugar based at the Queen Mary University of London, the study details how the industry has, to a certain extent reformulated some energy drinks to reduce sugar and caffeine, but the super-sized servings still remain a big problem. 

Regulatory News

Plain packaging could lead to billions in food industry losses, says new study

12 Dec 2017 --- Following the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products in some countries and calls to extend the legislation to other sectors, marketing consultancy Brand Finance has analyzed the potential financial impact of such a policy on food and beverage brands.

Business News

UK: Students win silver at European competition with innovative vegan sushi

27 Nov 2017 --- A team from The University of Reading has been awarded the silver prize at the European final of Ecotrophelia for their caulirice sushi. The vegan sushi is made using cauliflower rice and fresh vegetables and contains just 75 calories per portion.

Food Ingredients News

Natural and authentic taste solutions: (Part 1) Citrus flavors dominate beverage space

06 Nov 2017 --- Citrus is a perennial top flavor choice for beverages and offer a more diverse range of taste tones than almost any other fruit category. No other taste enjoys greater acceptance in the beverage industry and is consistently one of the most popular flavors for sweet food products. The citrus taste is a favorite in nearly all countries around the globe.

Business News

Nestle named among global leaders in tackling climate change

24 Oct 2017 --- Nestlé has been recognized as a global leader in its response to climate change, again earning a place in the annual CDP Climate A List. Nestlé is among just 5 percent of participating companies to be featured on the 2017 Climate A List, compiled by global non-for-profit charity CDP. This is in recognition of action taken in the last year to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks and develop the low-carbon economy.

More Articles