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Coca-Cola Corp. Internal/External Factors

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There are many factors, internal as well as external that impact the planning function of management within an organization, and Coca-Cola is no exception. More than a billion times every day, thirsty people around the world reach for Coca-Cola products for refreshment. Coca-Cola is the most popular and biggest-selling soft drink in history, as well as the best-known product in the world. The Coca-Cola franchise covers a population of approximately 398 million people. Coca-Cola Enterprises employs approximately 72,000 people who operate 463 facilities, 54,000 vehicles and approximately 2.4 million vending machines, beverage dispensers and coolers.


The Coca-Cola Company experienced a period of rapid change during the 1900 through

1909 timeframe when the company experienced a period of rapid growth. This rapid growth was attributed to three pioneers sectioning off the country into territories and selling bottling rights to local entrepreneurs. Their combined efforts attributed to advancements in bottling technology which improved efficiency and product quality. "By 1909, nearly 400 Coca-Cola bottling plants were operating, most of them family-owned businesses. Some were only open during hot-weather months when demand was high" (Coca-Cola, 2004). During the 1920's and 1930's Coca-Cola began its international expansion led by Robert W. Woodruff, who was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. Coca-Cola plants were opened in France, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Belgium, Italy and South Africa. "By the time World War II began, Coca-Cola was being bottled in 44 countries" (Coca-Cola, 2004). These two different periods of time were when Coca-Cola experienced its most crucial rapid change due to bottling innovation and company expansion.


Beginning in the 1920's building their global network, Coca-Cola is now the "world's leading manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups, used to produce nearly 400 beverage brands in over 200 countries" (Coca-Cola, 2004). Competing globally is a difficult task due to the unpredictability of foreign markets (Bateman &Snell, 2003). Coca-Cola not only recognized the opportunity in the global market but was able to expand successfully. Canada and Panama were the start of their global market in 1906. Since then they have expanded throughout the world. Coca-Cola successfully meets consumer's tastes globally; as a result 70% of their income is from outside the United States (Coca-Cola, 2004).


Coca-Cola originated as a soda fountain beverage in 1886, and at that time sold for only five cents a glass. While "early growth was impressive, it was only when a strong bottling system developed that Coca-Cola became the world famous brand it is today" (Coca-Cola, 2004). Along with its network of bottlers, the company comprises the most sophisticated distribution system in the world.

When we think of how far we come, it's somewhat difficult to believe that not all places have risen to our level. "In some of the higher elevations of the Andes, Coca-Cola is sometimes transported by four-legged power" (Coca-Cola, 2004).



The market today is always changing. A company must be in tune with what consumers want. Consumers get bored, and often want new products. In order to meet the wants and needs of customers a company must introduce new products or services Bateman &Snell, 2003). Coca-Cola in an effort to meet customer's needs created C2 which is a low carb soft drink. This was in response to the low carb diets and the demands of consumers. They also intend to launch a new soft drink called Coca-Cola Zero. This is a zero calorie soft drink. Knowing the importance of innovation the Coca-Cola Company has always strived to create new products. They already have Coke with Lime, Lemon, Vanilla and Cherry. Raspberry will be the new flavor added to Coke coming soon. They also have plans to sweeten Diet Coke with Splenda, a sugar substitute that is safe for diabetics" (Coca-Cola, 2004).




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