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Friday, June 12, 2009

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent: Global Urbanization = Market Sustainability

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As Thomas Friedman says, the world is flat,hot and crowded. Another New York Times bestselling author named Thomas, Thomas P.M.Barnett, can show you his map of the countries that still lack first-world amenities and fall into the non-integrated gap.

Regardless of which author you prefer, there's an undeniable movement in squatter cities across the globe: They have emerged as epicenters of commerce and trade.

Stewart Brand explained the urban expansion trend during his presentation at the TED conference. Brand outlined the major demographic event: passing the 50% urbanization point-an economic tipping point.  "The world now is a point of connectivity."
Coca-Cola CEO, Muhtar Kent, views urban expansion as a major boost for international business, including Coke.(NYSE:KO). Kent told PBS talk show host Charlie Rose:

Those two factors, rapid urbanization, and rapid entry into the middle class, are going to cause, again, a higher plateau of food and commodity pricing with scarcity... I think for all business, because I  think that also means that sustainability as we used to know it.

Coke's international sales figures reveal interesting data, including these facts:

  • Sprite is the number one selling brand in China of any beverage.
  • Fanta is Coke's second largest trademark.
  • 80% of Coke's revenue comes from outside the U.S.
  • Coke sells 1.6 billion beverages every day in more than 203 countries.

While Coke's marketing strategy spans into different sectors across the globe, Kent points out several universal truths for all consumers:

When we become arrogant, we lose our way. When we will tell the consumer what he or she wants, we lose our way. Every country is different, but there’s one thing that doesn’t change: Consumers want hydration, quality products and beverages that they can identify with, brands that they can identify with, great tasting beverages and innovation.

By Matt O'Hern at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

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