After an initial 40% investment in 2008 that helped expand the distribution, Coke buys Honest Tea from the Company’s co-founder, Seth Goldman. Five new flavors are introduced, including Peach White Tea and Lemon Black Tea brewed with Fair Trade Certified tea leaves and packaged in plastic bottles. Goldman:
We accepted a minority investment from The Coca-Cola Company in February, presenting opportunities for further growth and expansion nationwide.
Coke plans to buy a 10 percent stake in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters for $1.25 billion. Coke wants to compete directly with Soda Stream and will be the first company to feature its brands in Green Mountain’s new Keurig Cold machines, set to debut in 2015. Green Mountain CEO, Kelley:
So the strength of the Keurig Cold system is that we will have the best cold brands on it, and those are the Coca-Cola brands.
Coca-Cola is quietly test-marketing its new beverage, Coca-Cola Life. The beverage is a stevia-sweetened version of regular Coke, containing more than four tablespoons of real sugar and has about 89 calories per can—less than the 140 calories found in a can of regular Coke. Coke Life is Coke’s answer to the two health concerns that have been hitting the company’s soda sales. It was released in Argentina and Chile last year, and this fall it’s launching in the UK. CEO Muhtar Kent:
We believe in the North American market.
Coca-Cola secures a 16.7% equity stake in the energy drink company Monster. The deal is valued at $2.15 billion. Per the agreement two Coca-Cola Company directors will sit on the Monster board of directors. All of Coca-Cola’s energy brands will be transferred to Monster. The deal is expected to be finalized in late 2014 or early 2015.
The Coca-Cola Company continues to identify innovative approaches to partnerships that enable us to stay at the forefront of consumer trends in the beverage industry
Coke launches Honest Tea for Keurig brewers. Honest Tea‘s green-and-black tea comes first, with K-Cups available for Keurig’s existing hot-brewing machines.
We’re evaluating our portfolio to determine the right brands for availability on the Keurig hot-brewing system.
The Facebook fan site, The Surge Movement pays for a billboard in Atlanta to lobby for the return of the 1990’s drink, Surge. Coke places a limited supply of Surge on Amazon.com.
This will be a great learning experience for us and a refreshing opportunity for fans.
An article highlights that the Company is paying nutrition experts to suggest min-cans of Coca-Cola as a ‘health snack” in online posts for American Heart Month. A mini-Coke is 7.5 ounces and has 90 calories. One post refers to a “refreshing beverage option such as a mini can of Coca-Cola.” Another suggests “portion-controlled versions of your favorites, like Coca-Cola mini cans, packs of almonds or pre-portioned desserts for a meal.” The Company says that communications by experts are fully disclosed:
We have a network of dietitians we work with. Every big brand works with bloggers or has paid talent.
Some corporations on a list of Planned Parenthood ‘sponsors’ claim they have not made donations to the organization. A page with a list of corporate sponsors on the Washington, DC chapter’s website is removed after demands by Coca-Cola, Xerox and Ford Motor Company. A Ford Motor Company spokeswoman denies that the corporation is a donor and claims that Ford has not matched employee contributions since 2005.