Your Independent Coca-Cola Bottler Part 4

           By 1960, The Coca-Cola Company would bring about a change and introduce a new flavored product line that many bottlers would be interested in because it would bear the Coca-Cola trademark and The Coca-Cola Company would be in charge of the national advertising campaigns.

            Although The Coca-Cola Company began to offer flavored beverages the Bottlers were independent of each other and independent of The Coca-Cola Company; bottlers were not required to carry any new product offered by The Coca-Cola Company. Some bottlers chose NOT to carry the product line of The Coca-Cola Company and continued to bottle their in-house brand for many years. One reason the bottlers were not eager to change over was due to the cost of dumping the bottles they had for the local brand, then purchasing the new product bottles. The Coca-Cola Company was eager for the bottlers to dump there old flavor lines, because many of them would compete with products of The Coca-Cola Company.

          The independent bottling system proved effective for many years. In the late 1970’s there were nearly 400 independent bottlers but by the early 1980’s consolidation reduced the number of independent bottlers to 180. The new competitive environment of the 1980’s required the quick changing of products and marketing strategy which the independent bottler had a hard time handling. The Coca-Cola Company bought out a few of the independent bottlers who were no longer interested in the business. By 1986 The Coca-Cola Company had combined its few company owned bottlers with two large independent bottlers to create a new company, Coca-Cola Enterprises, which took over the bottling side of the business. They continued to acquire bottlers and territories over the next several years. In the early 1990’s, a few of the remaining independent bottlers continued to use returnable bottles for their flavor line as well as for The Coca-Cola Company products.

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I hope you have enjoyed reading the ‘Your Independent Coca-Cola Bottler’ series.  I will be bringing more article series such as this one in the future.

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