Coca-Cola looks to growing markets

12 June 2009

ATLANTA: Consumers in rapidly-developing markets like India, China and Brazil are going to be essential in driving Coca-Cola's growth during the economic downturn, Muhtar Kent, its president/ceo, has said.

Some 84% of the soft drinks giant's earnings are now drawn from outside its home country, and the company has previously announced its intention to focus on the idea that its target audience is increasingly taking the form of a "global tribe".

However, Kent also argues that with regard to the Atlanta-based corporation's recession strategy "no one size fits all", as different areas have been impacted in contrasting ways.

By way of an example, he said that Indian consumers "are not participating in this crisis", and other parts of Asia also remain "very dynamic."

This latter category includes China, where the government's stimulus package is "really beginning to show," while other emerging markets, such as Indonesia and Brazil, are also "doing fine."

In contrast, "sentiment is bad" in Eastern and Western Europe, and Kent also stated that "I still don't believe that finally the American consumer is going to pull the world out of this current economic stalemate."

Despite the "difficult" situation in these advanced markets, Coca-Cola's chief executive argued the company still had a crucial role to play, which "is essentially selling moments of pleasure at sensitive times, billions of times everyday."

He also added that proposals from the American government to tax the international profits of firms headquartered in the country "will definitely cause unemployment in the US to grow."

Data sourced from Moneycontrol; additional content by WARC staff