Economics for Global Decision Makers

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The World of Coke:
The Coca Cola Company

By: Andrea R Hart
June 29, 2011
GB540 – Unit 4 Assignment
The History of Coca Cola

The 125 year old Coca Cola Company currently ranks 70th on the List of Fortune 500 Companies for 2011. Coca Cola began in 1886 when pharmacist John Pemberton in Atlanta, GA, sold a caramel colored mix that was combined with carbonated water and sold for $.05 cents a glass at Jacobs Pharmacy. The pharmacy sold approximately 9 glasses the first day totaling $.45 cents a day average. After John Pemberton passed away in 1888 the company rights were acquired by a business name named Griggs Candler for $2,300 (The Coca Cola Company, 2011). Candler led the way for the innovative product to become a business. He began promoting the product on everyday products so that the logo was everywhere and the aggressive tactic worked. The demand grew so quickly that there three production facilities were up and operating within 7 years. By 1920 there were over 1,000 bottlers of the product and in the 40’s the president helped to lay the international groundwork for the company to begin doing business overseas and ensuring that a Coke was available to many for a small price. Currently the company now has a brand list that exceeds 500 with 3,500 plus beverages. This company has nearly 140,000 employees and operates in more than 200 countries (The Coca Cola Company, 2011). On average a 16oz cola sells for $.99 cents. In 2011 the company reported net income in the amount of $11.8 billion for 2010 and an increase of operating revenue of 16% to $9.5 billion of which 70% was sales generated outside of the United States (Company Fact Sheet, 2011). The company has won many awards for advertising, packaging innovation and even had an outstanding turnout of tourists at the World of Coke Museum and headquarters in Atlanta.

Economic, Social, and Political Force Effects
Within the past 125 years many economic, social and political forces have changed the country and must have influenced this. Coke is an American Icon and has had to readapt and change with the times. It was these changes that made Coke not only a product that could relate to its consumers but shared a feeling or an emotion that many generations cherish as a culture. Everything about the culture of Coke can be tied to a time in the era of the product. For example the now antique 5 Cent Coke logos were made during the time of World War II when President Eisenhower requested that bottling plants be opened overseas so that all American soldiers had access to a 5 Cent Cold Coke. During the war, many people enjoyed their first taste of the beverage, and when peace finally came, the foundations were laid for Coca-Cola to do business overseas.

Prior to the beginning of the 2008 recession on average a 20oz Coca Cola was $1.00. During the recession, Coke took action and began releasing smaller versions of the beverages creating 8oz cans and also designing new retro aluminum bottles to entice the buyers to buy. Advertising is the main means for the company staying in tuned with its consumer. The advertising has always stayed current from the infamous “I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke. Peace commercial in the 70’s to the current “Open Happiness” campaign, even the recognizable winter white polar bears that come out every year during the holidays. Another major social force is the pro health movement that has people avoiding surgery soft drinks. Coke had to regain the lost market by adopting new products and introduce juice to their product line. These are just a few examples of how external forces can have an effect on a large corporation.

SWOT Analysis of The Coca Cola Company
Having 125 of years of experience puts Coca Cola in a position to have many strengths to leverage. The most noticeable strength is that of their widely known reputation. With consumers trusting their product in over 200 countries that means that their logo and...
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