Coca-Cola cans 200 drink brands, slashes portfolio in half

Coca-Cola canning 200 drink brands

ATLANTA — Coca-Cola is slimming down, canning 200 drink brands from its portfolio, the beverage giant said Thursday.

The announcement comes on the heels of Coca-Cola discontinuing several outdated brands, including Tab, ZICO coconut water and juice-smoothie brand Odwalla, CNN reported.

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Thursday was the first time the Atlanta-based company said it would get rid of 200 brands, Coca-Cola said in a news release.

"The company expects to offer a portfolio of approximately 200 master brands, an approximate 50% reduction from the current number, and phase out some products, such as ZICO and Tab, Coca-Cola said in its release.

Other “underperforming” brands that will be discontinued include Diet Coke Feisty Cherry and regional offerings like Northern Neck Ginger Ale, the company said.

Jettisoning unprofitable brands will allow Coke to concentrate on marketing core products such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, along with new trendy drinks such as Topo Chico hard seltzer and AHA, a caffeinated seltzer the company launched in 2019, CNN reported.

“Hydration” brands such as Powerade and Dasani could also be removed, James Quincey, Coca-Cola’s chairman and CEO, told CNN.

Water and sports drink volumes fell 11% in the third quarter of 2020, according to CNN.

“Throughout this year’s (COVID-19) crisis, our system has remained focused on its beverages for life strategy,” Quincey said in the company’s news release. “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 suffered during the coronavirus pandemic because restaurants were forced to close. In the third quarter, net revenues declined 9% to $8.7 billion, CNN reported.

Coca-Cola’s decision to trim its brands coincides with a restructuring that will include layoffs to about 4,000 employees n the U.S. and Canada.

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

The company said select Coca-Cola products will be discontinued by Dec. 31, the newspaper reported.

A full list of Coca-Cola’s U.S. and international brands can be found here.