The World is Buying Less Coca-Cola

In Customer Engagement, Featured on App by Vaughn Highfield

Coca-Cola Crates

Coca-Cola is losing customer’s love

Coca-Cola can spend all the time in the world creating witty advertising campaigns like embarrassing customers in a cinema, but it seems that sales around the world are declining.

It’s been dropping globally for the first three months of 2014 than it did over the same period last year. In fact, it’s the first time Coca-Cola has suffered a drop like this since 1999. In the US the drop was somewhat expected due to calls for tackling child obesity. But in Europe, and Mexico, sales were also on the decline – due in part to a new ‘soda tax’ increasing the price of all of Coca-Cola’s soft drinks.

“As far as Mexico is concerned, I think sparkling volume for us was sort of in the mid-single-digits decline for the first quarter,” CEO Muhtar Kent said to investors on Tuesday.

Mexico is a key area of expansion for Coca-Cola’s products, but with the soda tax in place the rising costs of coke are a little too much for many Mexicans who’d rather opt for something cheaper and, most likely, healthier too. This is a big deal for Coca-Cola as no other country in the Americas guzzles their fizzy drinks like the Mexicans.

The interesting point about all of this is that globally, soda sales have actually gone up by 18 per cent since 2000, so perhaps people have just moved onto different products. For one, energy drinks are soaring, having grown 5,000% in the last 15 years.

Coca-Cola doesn’t have an awful lot to worry about though, as Americans are buying more bottled water. And Coca-Cola sells bottled water, meaning it’s non-carbonated drinks sales have risen by eight per cent.

But what can it do to win over customers once more, back to the sugary sweetness it’s peddling?

Creative advertisements is definitely one avenue, getting people to spread the word. But perhaps it needs to put its excellent marketing department to work on finding new ways to engage with audiences. After all, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games sponsorship damaged its reputation in certain circles around the world. But the World Cup could easily see those renewed.

Perhaps it’s time for Coca-Cola to use native advertising or neuromarketing a little more to get its message across?


[Image: Gerard Stolk (vers Pâques) – Flickr]