The Coca Cola drink was invented in May 1886 by Doctor John Pemberton who was a pharmacist from the town of Atlanta Georgia. He came up with the Coca Cola formula while in his backyard in a three legged kettle made of brass. The Coca Cola name was a suggestion that he was given by his bookkeeper Frank Robinson who also scripted the Coca Cola logo that has been famous up to today using his excellent penmanship (Bellis par 1). This research paper is going to look at the Coca Cola Company’s profile, program aspects that can be audited and the consultant recommendations that can be made about it.
Coca-Cola Company started in the 1880’s is not just the leading soft drink seller in the world, but also has the brand name that is most recognized. It also leads in manufacturing, marketing and distribution of nonalcoholic beverage syrups and concentrates that are used in the production of almost 500 beverage brands. It is involved in the making and distribution of many drinks such as waters, sodas, teas, energy drinks, coffees and fruit juice. Its distribution system is also the largest in the world and therefore enables its many customers from more than 200 countries to gain access to the company’s beverage. The company has its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States employing about 92,400 people as per the 2008 statistics. The concentrates, beverage bases, and syrups made by the company are sold to bottling partners that are located worldwide; these partners then produce a variety of Coca Cola beverages. The Company, being the owner of the brand, is responsible for the marketing initiatives for the brand while the manufacturing, distribution and merchandising of the beverages is handled by the bottling partners. Among the many products it offer we have, noncarbonated nonalcoholic beverages, that includes noncarbonated waters, water with flavor, and also enhanced waters, energy drinks without carbon, juices and drinks from juice, instant teas and coffees plus sports drinks. It also makes fountain syrups and syrups, concentrates that constitute flavoring ingredients and sweeteners. Its beverages go under the names Diet Coke, Fanta, Coca Cola and Sprite.
Coca Cola is a public company that is traded on the New York Stock Exchange whose mission is:
- To refresh the whole world in body, mind and spirit,
- To inspire optimistic moments through its brands and actions, and
- To create value so that they can make a difference everywhere they engage.
Although Coca Cola is the most popular drink in the world, there are certain aspects involved in its production that are seen to be hazardous to the health of the consumers. Because it is a food item, most of these aspects will therefore be based on the negative effects that the beverage has on the human health. A key ingredient in the making of Coke, aspartame, is a drug which stimulates human brain making the person consuming it have a strange craving for more sweet things. This drug breaks down when exposed to high temperatures of about 860 producing the poisonous element in it. The human stomach temperature is about 98.6 degrees; therefore one can imagine what happens when we take the coke. When this substance is added to hot food, it might cause the “Burning mouth syndrome”.
The Coca leaves that replaced cocaine in the making of this beverage are also a drug which when naturally chewed have no problem of addiction. They only become dangerous when processed as is the case in Coke. Another ingredient in the making of coke is the kola nut that is basically caffeine which a harmful drug to the health of human beings. The kola nut is usually eaten by some African communities to kill hunger. Research has also shown that too much or frequent taking of Coke can cause a number of chronic diseases. It also causes other diseases like kidney stress, mood swings, blood acidosis and immune system suppression. Obesity is caused high fructose levels in a person’s body. The corn syrup used in the making of coke contains fructose, which means that if consumed in large amounts will increase a person’s fructose level causing obesity complications in the person. Coca Cola also causes cavities this is necessitated by the high bacterial growth in teeth. Too much coke also causes ones bones to be weak because the high phosphate content it has pulls calcium out from the bones.
The 2003 findings of an Indian N.G.O. also showed that the Coca Cola products produced in India contained high volumes of toxic materials that included Malathion, DDT, Chlorpyrifos and lindane which are pesticides and therefore causes harm to the human health. They can cause immune system break down and cancer. The research further show that Coca Cola has 30 times more the level of pesticide residues allowed in countries in the west. This caused Coca Cola production and consumption to decline and even to be banned in some towns in India causing the company big losses. Care should be taken to avoid the occurrence of such situations as they make it hard for the customer to have confidence in the company at the present and even in the future.
Another aspect looked at was the environmental pollution. Coca Cola bottling plants around the world have received numerous complaints from the communities in which they are located for seriously polluting their environment. The best example is the Plachimada bottling plant in south India that was accused of heavy pollution. It was alleged that it was causing ground water pollution. Another problem facing Coca Cola Company is competition from the other cola producers especially Pepsi (Hassan par. 6).
The working environment in Coca Cola companies around the world basically represents its culture which is to foster shared values among its diverse group of employees. It gives special training to its employee. As a motivation, the company gives its employees smart wage packages together with many facilities and amenities depending on their job categories leaving every one satisfied. The company offers training and scholarships to hard working students all over the world giving them a chance to make their dreams come true. It offers different leaves structure depending on the diverse needs of its customers and the region they come from this in turn motivates the employees to work harder and better. It also offers internships to graduates giving them a chance to learn working skills for better business opportunities in future. Every organization in the Coca Cola Company has its own strategies and policies by which the functions of their departments are controlled. These also looks into factors like work design, job analysis, selection and recruitment, training and development, compensation, performance appraisals, staff welfare, employee relationships and medical policies and many other issues that affect the working of the company (Coca Cola par. 35).
From the above research and many other factors not articulated here, it has clearly emerged that for the Coca Cola Company to keep up with the emerging economy and restore people’s confidence in its products, it should pay attention to the following aspects:
- It should make its packages lighter by using more recycled content and also support consumer recycling programs. This will respond to the allegations that its bottled waters are polluting the environment. Lighter packages do not consume a lot of fuel on transportation require and also use less energy in production. This also reduces the need for generating new material every time.
- The company should invest more in programs aimed at reducing poverty in the communities it serves. It should scale up its distribution network by increasing manual distribution centers; this will create more jobs for the local communities thereby reducing levels of poverty.
- Should make sure that all its products are safe for consumption and also they comply with the quality and safety standards of the countries in which they are sold.
- In combating the issue of obesity, a health concern that the company’s products have been claimed to be great causers; it should look for ways of helping the people to live healthy lifestyles. This can be done in a number of ways such as; should provide variety in its products and package sizes; should support, promote and provide opportunities that will see people engage in active and healthy life especially the young people; should develop programs and educational tools that are effective and stress on the importance of balancing the body’s energy requirements that will enable people to live healthy lifestyles.
- In regard to what happened in India about water pollution, the company should strive for regular and proactive engagement with local communities so that together they can find solutions that are effective to management of water and some other issues of local interest. This way the Company will not come into conflicts that water down its reputation.
It was also noticed that marketing strategies have a strong impact on the behavior of consumers. This was noticed when coke failed to make frequent advertisements of its products, leaving it to Pepsi, people started developing a taste for Pepsi. Therefore the company should maintain the advertisements for its products to counter this. If the company follows and implements the recommendations above, then its global recognition coupled with the already existing initiatives that it has undertaken, will see it regain the customer trust that it has enjoyed for the many years it has been in existence for many more years to come.
Having been founded many years ago, the Coca Cola Company has survived the test of time. It has been and is still the leading manufacturer, marketer and also distributor of the famous nonalcoholic beverage syrups and concentrates that it sells to its bottling partners all over the world. Its corporate headquarters are based in Atlanta Georgia in the United States with locally based operations in more than 200 countries in the world. The Company started humbly with initial small sale volumes, but gradually gained popularity wherever it went and at present it produces more than 300 brands of cola products. But all has not been smooth sailing for the company, especially with the changing tastes and preferences in people’s lives that has seen many other companies coming up to try and satisfy the many consumer demands. This competition has forced the company to rethink its strategies. The biggest competitor has been the PepsiCo Company that also produces cola products. Being the market challenger PepsiCo will grab at any opportunity that comes its way as what happened when Coca Cola lapsed in maintaining its supply chain, it lost many contracts to Pepsi together with its customer base. This research paper has looked at all these factors and given recommendations that can be used to prevent some of the setbacks that the company has been experiencing.