The Coca-Cola Company and its Chinese bottling partners are to invest $4 billion in China over the next three years, commencing 2012. By the end of 2011, Coca-Cola and its China bottling partners (Swire Beverages and COFCO Coca-Cola Beverage) will have invested more than $3 billion in China over the last three years, bringing the total investment to $7 billion between 2009 and 2014 in the largest and fastest-growing consumer market in the world.
“China is one of our most important growth markets in the world as we work to achieve our 2020 Vision goal of doubling system revenues and servings this decade. The new investment is a part of our long-term commitment to invest in innovation, partnerships and a portfolio that will enable us to grow our business in a sustainable and responsible way,” says Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive of The Coca-Cola Company. “Besides our infrastructure and capabilities, the new investment will also focus on enhancing the consumer experience, ensuring product affordability and building brand loyalty which deliver sustainable growth.”
In its second quarter 2011 financial results, Coca-Cola posted strong worldwide volume growth of 6% in both the quarter and year-to-date, with growth across all five geographic operating groups, including in China.
“In the first six months of 2011, sales in China topped 1 billion unit cases – double the rate sold five years ago when the company first delivered 1 billion unit cases for a full year. China had an outstanding performance in the latest quarter, supported by strong growth in the Coca-Cola brand and Minute Maid Pulpy, the number one juice brand in China,” he says. “These achievements are driven by a renewed focus on core brands, continued distribution gains and expansion of cold drink equipment, all made possible by our continued investment and dedicated execution over the years.”
The Coca-Cola China system opened five plants in Urumqi, Nanchang, Wuhan, Luohe and Hohhotin 2009-2010. In 2011, the system has already opened a new plant in Sanshui (Guandong province), will open another plant in Yingkou (Liaoningprovince), and break ground on a new plant inShijiazhuang(Hebeiprovince) later this year.
With the recently opened plants, the Coca-Cola system now operates more than 40 plants in China employing more than 48,000 people. Consumption of Coca-Cola products in China now represents approximately 7% of the company’s global volume.