How does innovation work in a coronavirus era? Coca-Cola reveals its strategy

How does innovation work in a coronavirus era? Coca-Cola reveals its strategy

Coca-Cola – like many other companies – has been streamlining SKUs and focusing on its biggest, established and trusted brands as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But innovation will continue to be key: it’s just the way it is executed will be done in a different, more selective and disciplined fashion.  

Back to the big brands

In an age of coronavirus, consumers are no longer spending so much time searching out something new and different: instead, they’re looking for something they know and trust.?? With many countries still observing some sort of social distancing, consumers are getting in and out of the supermarket as quickly as possible – or simply taking their shopping online.

As a result, Coca-Cola has been reshaping its innovation pipeline to eliminate a longer tail of smaller projects and allocate resources to fewer, larger, more scalable and more relevant solutions.

And while that often means focusing on the big brands there’s still room for new innovations. For example, Coca-Cola champions AHA sparkling water – a new launch which hit shelves in the US in March just as the pandemic took grip – is an example of a new innovation that is doing well despite the broader move towards established brands.

Explorers and challengers 

John Murphy, CFO, Coca-Cola, believes more structured and more disciplined innovation will be the biggest change in a coronavirus era.

“First of all, what I don’t think is going to change is that innovation will continue to be a source of future growth,” ?he said speaking at the Deutsche Bank Global Consumer Conference this month. 


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