The Coca-Cola Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

The Coca-Cola Company
Traded asNYSEKO
Dow Jones Component
S&P 500 Component
Founded1892 (1892)
Founder(s)Asa Griggs Candler
HeadquartersCoca-Cola headquarters,
Atlanta, Georgia
, U.S.
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleMuhtar Kent
(Chairman & CEO)
ProductsList of The Coca-Cola Company products
RevenueIncrease US$46.542 billion (2011)[1]
Operating incomeIncrease US$10.154 billion (2011)[1]
Net incomeDecrease US$08.634 billion (2011)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$79.974 billion (2011)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$31.921 billion (2011)[1]
Employees146,200 (2011)[1]
SubsidiariesList of The Coca-Cola Company subsidiaries
  (Redirected from Coca-Cola Company)
Jump to: navigation, search
The Coca-Cola Company
Traded asNYSEKO
Dow Jones Component
S&P 500 Component
Founded1892 (1892)
Founder(s)Asa Griggs Candler
HeadquartersCoca-Cola headquarters,
Atlanta, Georgia
, U.S.
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleMuhtar Kent
(Chairman & CEO)
ProductsList of The Coca-Cola Company products
RevenueIncrease US$46.542 billion (2011)[1]
Operating incomeIncrease US$10.154 billion (2011)[1]
Net incomeDecrease US$08.634 billion (2011)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$79.974 billion (2011)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$31.921 billion (2011)[1]
Employees146,200 (2011)[1]
SubsidiariesList of The Coca-Cola Company subsidiaries
One of The Coca-Cola Company's headquarters buildings in Atlanta

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSEKO) is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups.[2] The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia.[3] The Coca-Cola formula and brand was bought in 1889 by Asa Candler who incorporated The Coca-Cola Company in 1892. Besides its namesake Coca-Cola beverage, Coca-Cola currently offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries or territories and serves over 1.7 billion servings each day.[4]

The company operates a franchised distribution system dating from 1889 where The Coca-Cola Company only produces syrup concentrate which is then sold to various bottlers throughout the world who hold an exclusive territory. The Coca-Cola Company owns its anchor bottler in North America, Coca-Cola Refreshments.

The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Its stock is listed on the NYSE and is part of DJIA, S&P 500 Index, the Russell 1000 Index and the Russell 1000 Growth Stock Index. Its current chairman and chief executive is Muhtar Kent.



The company has a long history of acquisitions. Coca-Cola acquired Minute Maid in 1960,[5] the Indian cola brand Thums Up in 1993,[6] and Barq's in 1995.[7] In 2001, it acquired the Odwalla brand of fruit juices, smoothies and bars for $181 million.[8] In 2007, it acquired Fuze Beverage from founder Lance Collins and Castanea Partners for an estimated $250 million.[9] The company's 2009 bid to buy a Chinese juice maker ended when China rejected its $2.4 billion bid for the Huiyuan Juice Group on the grounds that it would be a virtual monopoly. Nationalism was also thought to be a reason for aborting the deal.[10] In 1982, Coca-Cola made its only non-beverage acquisition, when it purchased Columbia Pictures for $692 million. It sold the movie studio to Sony for $1.5 billion in 1989.[11]


The Coca-Cola Company's Minute Maid group North America offices in Sugar Land Town Square, Sugar Land, Texas, United States

According to the 2005 Annual Report,[12] the company sells beverage products in more than 200[13] countries. The report further states that of the more than 50 billion beverage servings of all types consumed worldwide every day, beverages bearing the trademarks owned by or licensed to Coca-Cola account for approximately 1.5 billion (the latest figure in 2010 shows that now they serve 1.6 billion drinks every day). Of these, beverages bearing the trademark "Coca-Cola" or "Coke" accounted for approximately 78% of the company's total gallon sales.

Also according to the 2007 Annual Report, Coca-Cola had gallon sales distributed as follows:

In 2010, it was announced that Coca-Cola had become the first brand to top £1 billion in annual UK grocery sales.[14]


Since 1919, Coca Cola has been a publicly traded company. One share of stock purchased in 1919 for $40, with all dividends reinvested, would be worth $9.8 million in 2012, a 10.9% annual increase, adjusted for inflation.[15] In 1987, Coca Cola once again became one of the 30 stocks which makes up the Dow, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is commonly referenced as the performance of the stock market. It had previously been a Dow stock from 1932 to 1935.[16] Coca Cola has paid a dividend, increasing each year for 49 years. The dividend in 2011 was $1.88 per share.[17] The dividend in 2012 is expected to be $1.02/share, which is complicated by the 2 for 1 stock split in August 2012.[18][19] Stock is available from a direct purchase program, through Computershare Trust Company, but unlike many programs, has investment fees.[20]


In the U.S., Coca-Cola is a major lobbying force working to gain favorable legislation for the beverage industry. In both 2005 and 2006, it spent $1 million each year on lobbying. In 2007, that increased to $1.7 million, and by 2008, to $2.5 million. In 2009, total lobbying expenses jumped to $4.5 million, or nearly double the previous year. Much of the increased lobbying expenses are due to the industry’s fight against increased taxes on soft drinks and other sweetened beverages.[21] For 2009, Coca-Cola has 38 lobbyists at 7 different firms lobbying on its behalf.[21]


In general, The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) and/or subsidiaries only produce syrup concentrate, which is then sold to various bottlers throughout the world who hold a Coca-Cola franchise. Coca-Cola bottlers, who hold territorially exclusive contracts with the company, produce the finished product in cans and bottles from the concentrate in combination with filtered water and sweeteners. The bottlers then sell, distribute and merchandise the resulting Coca-Cola product to retail stores, vending machines, restaurants and food service distributors.

One notable exception to this general relationship between TCCC and bottlers is fountain syrups in the United States, where TCCC bypasses bottlers and is responsible for the manufacture and sale of fountain syrups directly to authorized fountain wholesalers and some fountain retailers.

Civil Rights

After Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, plans for an interracial celebration in still-segregated Atlanta were not initially well supported by the city's business elite until Coca-Cola intervened.[22]

J. Paul Austin, the chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, and Mayor Ivan Allen summoned key Atlanta business leaders to the Commerce Club's eighteenth floor dining room, where Austin told them flatly, 'It is embarrassing for Coca-Cola to be located in a city that refuses to honor its Nobel Prize winner. We are an international business. The Coca-Cola Co. does not need Atlanta. You all need to decide whether Atlanta needs the Coca-Cola Co.' Within two hours of the end of that meeting, every ticket to the dinner was sold.
—Andrew Young [23]

However, Coca-Cola has also faced allegations of racial discrimination in its employment practices, and faced a class-action racial discrimination lawsuit regarding this in the early 2000s.


The Coca-Cola Company has been involved in controversies and lawsuits related to human rights violations and other unethical practices.

A number of lawsuits have been filed in relation to its allegedly monopolistic and discriminatory practices, some of which have been dismissed, some of which have caused The Coca-Cola Company to change its business practices, and some of which have been settled out of court.[24] There have been continuing criticisms regarding The Coca-Cola Company's relation to the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy.

The company has been criticised on a number of environmental issues. An issue with pesticides in groundwater in 2003 led to problems for the company when an Indian NGO, Centre for Science and Environment, announced that it had found cancer causing chemicals in Coca-Cola as well as other soft drinks produced by the company, at levels 30 times that considered safe by the European Economic Commission. This caused an 11 percent drop in Indian Coca-Cola sales.[25][26] The Indian Health Minister said the CSE tests were inaccurate, and said that the government's tests found pesticide levels within India's standards but above EU standards.[27][28] The UK-based Central Science Laboratory, commissioned by Coke, found its products met EU standards in 2006.[29] Coke and the University of Michigan commissioned an independent study of its bottling plants by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), which reported in 2008 no unsafe chemicals in the water supply, though it criticized Coke for the impact of its water usage on local supply.[30]

Critics claim that the company's overuse of local water supplies in some locations has led to severe shortages for regional farmers and the forced closure of some plants.[31] Packaging used in Coca-Cola's products have a significant environmental impact. However, the company strongly opposes attempts to introduce mechanisms such as container deposit legislation.[32]

The company was accused of being involved in a violent repression of a union at several of its bottling plants in Colombia, South America.[33] As of August 2005, when PBS's Frontline ran a story on the controversy, Coca-Cola strenuously denied all allegations of union-busting and murder of union leaders. A few shareholders and a few U.S. colleges[34][35] have attempted to boycott Coca-Cola to exert pressure on the company to approve what they call a full-scale investigation of the charges.[36]

On December 10, 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote to Mr. Muhtar Kent, President and Chief Executive Officer, to warn him that the FDA had concluded that the label on Coca-Cola's product Diet Coke Plus 20 FL OZ was is in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act labeling requirements.[37] During an interview with Reuters, The Coca-Cola Company's spokesman, Scot Williams, stated, "This does not involve any health or safety issues, and we believe the label on Diet Coke Plus complies with FDA's policies and regulations."[38]

In January 2009, the US consumer group the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a class-action lawsuit against Coca-Cola.[39] The lawsuit was in regards to claims made, along with the company's flavors, of Vitamin Water. Claims say that the 33 grams of sugar are more harmful than the vitamins and other additives are helpful. Coca-Cola insists the suit is "ridiculous."[40][41]

Products and brands

Coca-Cola Company's office building in Madrid (Spain).

The Coca-Cola Company offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries, besides its namesake Coca-Cola beverage.

Tab was Coca-Cola's first attempt to develop a diet soft drink, using saccharin as a sugar substitute. Introduced in 1963, the product is still sold today, although its sales have dwindled since the introduction of Diet Coke.

The Coca-Cola Company also produces a number of other soft drinks including Fanta (introduced circa 1941) and Sprite. Fanta's origins date back to World War II when Max Keith, who managed Coca-Cola's operations in Germany during the war, wanted to make money from Nazi Germany but did not want the negative publicity. Keith resorted to producing a different soft drink, Fanta, which proved to be a hit, and when Coke took over again after the war, it adopted the Fanta brand as well. The German Fanta Klare Zitrone ("Clear Lemon Fanta") variety became Sprite, another of the company's bestsellers and its response to 7 Up.

Coca-Cola South Africa also released Valpre Bottled "still" and "sparkling" water.

During the 1990s, the company responded to the growing consumer interest in healthy beverages by introducing several new non-carbonated beverage brands. These included Minute Maid Juices to Go, Powerade sports beverage, flavored tea Nestea (in a joint venture with Nestle), Fruitopia fruit drink and Dasani water, among others. In 2001, Minute Maid division launched the Simply Orange brand of juices including orange juice.

In 2004, perhaps in response to the burgeoning popularity of low-carbohydrate diets such as the Atkins Diet, Coca-Cola announced its intention to develop and sell a low-carbohydrate alternative to Coke Classic, dubbed C2 Cola. C2 contains a mix of high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose, and Acesulfame potassium. C2 is designed to more closely emulate the taste of Coca-Cola Classic. Even with less than half of the food energy and carbohydrates of standard soft drinks, C2 is not a replacement for zero-calorie soft drinks such as Diet Coke. C2 went on sale in the U.S. on June 11, 2004, and in Canada in August 2004. C2's future is uncertain due to disappointing sales.

Coca-Cola is the best-selling soft drink in most countries, and was recognized as the number one global brand in 2010.[42] While the Middle East is one of the only regions in the world where Coca-Cola is not the number one soda drink, Coca-Cola nonetheless holds almost 25% marketshare (to Pepsi's 75%) and had double-digit growth in 2003.[43] Similarly, in Scotland, where the locally produced Irn-Bru was once more popular, 2005 figures show that both Coca-Cola and Diet Coke now outsell Irn-Bru.[44] In Peru, the native Inca Kola has been more popular than Coca-Cola, which prompted Coca-Cola to enter in negotiations with the soft drink's company and buy 50% of its stakes. In Japan, the best selling soft drink is not cola, as (canned) tea and coffee are more popular.[45] As such, The Coca-Cola Company's best selling brand there is not Coca-Cola, but Georgia.[46]

On July 6, 2006, a Coca-Cola employee and two other people were arrested and charged with trying to sell trade secrets information to the soft drink maker's competitor, PepsiCo for $1.5 million. The recipe for Coca-Cola, perhaps the company's most closely guarded secret, was never in jeopardy. Instead, the information was related to a new beverage in development. Coca-Cola executives verified that the documents were valid and proprietary. At least one glass vial containing a sample of a new drink was offered for sale, court documents said. The conspiracy was revealed by PepsiCo, which notified the authorities when they were approached by the conspirators.[47]

The company announced a new "negative calorie" green tea drink, Enviga, in 2006, along with trying coffee retail concepts Far Coast and Chaqwa.

On May 25, 2007, Coca-Cola announced it would purchase Glaceau, a maker of flavored vitamin-enhanced drinks (vitamin water), flavored waters, and Burn energy drinks, for $4.1 billion in cash.[48]

On September 3, 2008, Coca-Cola announced its intention to make cash offers to purchase China Huiyuan Juice Group Limited (which has a 42% share of the Chinese pure fruit juice market[49]) for US$2.4bn (HK$12.20 per share).[50] China's ministry of commerce blocked the deal on March 18, 2009, arguing that the deal would hurt small local juice companies, could have pushed up juice market prices and limited consumers’ choices.[51]

In October 2009, Coca-Cola revealed its new 90-calorie mini can that holds 7.5 fluid ounces.[52] The first shipments are expected to reach the New York City and Washington D.C. markets in December 2009 and nationwide by March 2010.[52]

For the Winter Holidays of 2011, Coca-Cola revealed a white can that contained regular Coke instead of Diet Coke, but it was quickly withdrawn only a month after release due to consumer complaints about the similar look to the silver cans commonly used for Diet Coke. There were also complaints about deviating from the traditional red color of Coca-Cola cans.[53]

Coca-Cola operates a soft drink themed tourist attraction in downtown Atlanta, Ga; the "World of Coca-Cola" is a multi-storied exhibition of the many flavors sold by the company as well as a museum to the history of the company.



Coca-Cola sponsored the English Football League from the beginning of the 2004–05 season (beginning August 2004) to the start of 2010/11 season, when the Football League found a new sponsor in NPower.

Along with this, Coca-Cola sponsored the Coca-Cola Football Camp, otherwise known as a soccer camp, that took place in Pretoria, South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, during which hundreds of teenagers from around the world were able to come together and share their love of the game, partly due to Best Buy's efforts through their @15 program.[54]

Other major sponsorships include NASCAR, the NBA, the PGA Tour, NCAA Championships, the Olympic Games, the NRL, the FIFA World Cups and the UEFA Euro.

In the Philippines, it has a team in the Philippine Basketball Association, the Powerade Tigers.


The company sponsors the hit Fox singing-competition series American Idol. Coca-Cola is a sponsor of the nightly talk show on PBS, Charlie Rose in the US.[55]

In video games

In PlayStation Home, the PlayStation 3's online community-based service, Coca-Cola placed a vending machine in Home that took users to a space called the "Georgia Break Station". The vending machine also distributed original avatar items and presented, along with "C-pons", digital coupons that could be used to get real drinks from real vending machines. This was to promote Georgia series of canned coffee. The space was a lounge where users could sit and chat and included two in-lounge avatars that told the users about the Georgia coffee. It was available from September 7, 2009 to December 17, 2009 in the Japanese version of Home.[56][unreliable source?]

In Dreamcast's Shenmue in 1999, Coca-Cola was featured in the Japanese-only version, in which the main character Ryo Hazuki finds vending machines on the street corners in the video game, and actual cans that were sold in Japan in 1986, the setting of the video game. Sometimes Ryo gets a special can which can be turned in for prizes.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "2011 Form 10-K, The Coca-Cola Company". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  2. ^ "Coca-Cola Products: New Coca-Cola Products, Brands of Beverages & More". Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  3. ^ "Who Invented Coca Cola?". Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  4. ^ "Coca-Cola FAQs – General". 2004-08-18. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  5. ^ "History of The Minute Maid Company". Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Coca-Cola Brand Fact Sheets: Barq's.
  8. ^ "Coke Buys Odwalla". (Oct. 30, 2001). CNN Money.
  9. ^ "Coca-Cola Buys Fuze Beverage". (Feb. 12, 2007) Boulder Daily Camera.
  10. ^ "Coke's China juice move collapses". BBC News. March 18, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  11. ^ Sellers, Patricia; Woods, Wilton (October 13, 1997). "WHERE COKE GOES FROM HERE". Fortune. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Coca Cola Company Form 10-K 2005". SEC. Retrieved May 11, 2006. 
  13. ^ this being somewhat more countries than are generally agreed to exist
  14. ^ "Coke sales first to top £1bn". Edinburgh Evening News. March 19, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  15. ^ One Share of Stock Now Worth $9.8 Million -- Is It Really Possible?
  16. ^ Decades of Great Performance From 9 Dow Stocks
  17. ^ The Board Of Directors Of The Coca-Cola Company Increases Annual Dividend By 7 Percent
  18. ^ Recent/Upcoming Dividend Payouts for KO
  19. ^ Coca-Cola shareholders OK 2-for-1 stock split
  20. ^ Coca Cola (KO) DRIP
  21. ^ a b "Center for Responsive Politics, Coca-Cola". Nov 20, 2009. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  22. ^ "NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: In 1964, award to King stirred a storm". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. December 10, 2002. 
  23. ^ Andrew Young (1996). An Easy Burden. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-092890-2. OCLC 34782719. 
  24. ^ "Daily Briefing". Atlanta Journal-Constitution: p. C2. May 11, 2001. "WKMX Inc., an FM radio station, filed a lawsuit, alleging that Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. and its biggest bottler stole the station's name and colors for its KMX energy drink. In a federal suit filed in Dothan, WKMX said it's the top station for young adult listeners in its market and has used those call letters since 1974." 
  25. ^ [2][dead link]
  26. ^ Business Standard (2003-10-29). "Coke sales fall 11% on pesticide controversy". Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  27. ^ "India gives cola giants all-clear". CNN. August 21, 2003. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  28. ^ George, Nirmala (August 22, 2003). "Colas called safe, but not at EU standards". The San Diego Union. 
  29. ^ "UK experts say Indian Coke 'safe'". BBC News. August 14, 2006. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  30. ^ Sharma, Ashok (January 15, 2008). "Water in Coca-Cola in India pesticide free". USA Today. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  31. ^ "India Resource Center - How a Global Web of Activists Gives Coke Problems in India". 2005-06-07. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  32. ^ "Coca-Cola: Shareholder Resolution". Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  33. ^ "The Coca-Cola Case". 
  34. ^ "Coca-Cola Ban Goes Into Effect at New York University". New York University – Office of Public Affairs. December 8, 2005. 
  35. ^ Warner, Melanie (December 31, 2005). "U. of Michigan Becomes 10th College to Join Boycott of Cokepublicers". The New York Times. 
  36. ^ "Background on Violence Against Union Members in Colombia". USLEAP. 
  37. ^ "Coca-Cola Company (The) 10-Dec-08". 2008-12-10. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  38. ^ "Diet Coke Plus: “Healthy” Soft Drink?". Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  39. ^ "Coke Sued for Fraudulent Claims on Obesity-Promoting “VitaminWater”". Center for Science in the Public Interest. 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  40. ^ Vitamnwater Lawsuit[dead link]
  41. ^ "Coca-Cola sued over VitaminWater claims". MSNBC. 
  42. ^ "Best Global Brands Ranking for 2010". Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  43. ^ "Coke and Pepsi battle it out". AME Info. April 8, 2004. Retrieved May 11, 2006. 
  44. ^ Terry Murden (January 30, 2005). "Coke adds life to health drinks sector". Scotland On Sunday (UK). Retrieved May 11, 2006. 
  45. ^ Japan Soft Drink Association
  46. ^ Coca-Cola West Japan IR report (in Japanese), 2008.
  47. ^ Day, Kathleen (July 6, 2006). "3 Accused In Theft Of Coke Secrets". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 15, 2006. 
  48. ^ Stanford, Duane (May 25, 2007). "Coke to buy Glaceau in $4 billion deal". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on May 27, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2007. 
  49. ^ Tucker, Sundeep (March 17, 2009). "Coca-Cola’s $2.4bn China deal at risk". Financial Times (Hong Kong). Retrieved March 17, 2009. 
  51. ^ Tucker, Sundeep (March 18, 2009). "China blocks Coca-Cola bid for Huiyuan". Financial Times (Hong Kong). Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  52. ^ a b Plumb, Tierney (October 14, 2009). "Coca-Cola to unveil mini cans in D.C.". Washington Business Journal/ 
  53. ^ Esterl, Mike (December 1, 2011). "A Frosty Reception for Coca-Cola's White Christmas Cans". The Wall Street Journal. 
  54. ^ "Teens Gear up for Soccer in South Africa". Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  55. ^ "About the program". Charlie Rose. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  56. ^ "Coca Cola Ties Up with Home". 

Further reading

External links