Coca-Cola Cutting 'Zombie Brands' Including Odwalla to Focus on Stronger Products

July 22, 2020

The Coca-Cola company is simplifying its cluster of brands by cutting out the “zombies.”

James Quincey, chief executive of Coca-Cola said that the company will be prioritizing its core brands while cutting out brands that aren’t getting that much love in order to minimize costs.

“We are shifting to prioritizing fewer but bigger and stronger brands across various consumer needs,” he said, according to a FactSet transcript.

The news comes just a few weeks after Coca-Cola announced it would be shutting down the juice and smoothie brand, Odwalla, effective July 31, which will result in 300 job cuts.

President of Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid business unit, John Hackett, said the “decision was not made lightly” but necessary "given a rapidly shifting marketplace and despite every effort to support continued production,” per CNN.

A company spokesperson said health-conscious consumers are not as interested in smoothies “as they used to be,.”

Streamlining the products allows Coca-Cola to zero in on marketing its best-sellers. “This gives us the flexibility to support our investments in brands like Minute Maid and Simply and to continue to scale rising start like Topo Chico,” Quincey said.

Though revenue fell in the second quarter due to a decline in sales from stadiums, arena, and movie theaters, which were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Coca-Cola had better-than-expected profit from Fairlife milk and Simply juice brands, MarketWatch reports.

The company is adapting to the “new normal” with the roll-out of “touchless” beverage fountains by the end of the year.

The new technology will allow customers to dispense their drinks using their smartphones and never having to touch the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, which could be a hotbed of germs amid the pandemic.

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