As the world’s leading beverage company and global brand (with a brand valuation of US$68.7 billion in 2009 according to Interbrand), the Coca-Cola Company has a total of some 500 beverage brands, from diet and regular sparkling beverages to still drinks like fruit juices and fruit drinks, waters, sports and energy drinks, teas and coffees, and milk-and soy-based beverages. Globally, Coca-Cola has the world’s largest beverage distribution system serving consumers in more than 200 countries a colossal 1.6 billion servings a day. Some of the firm’s beverage brands include the ubiquitous Coke, Nestea, Powerade, Ice Dew, Georgia Coffee, Sprite, Fanta, vitaminwater, and Minute Maid.
Considered to be the number one growth market for the drinks giant, China represents the pinnacle of the company’s global drinks market. Little wonder then that the company has decided to locate its Global Innovation and Technology Center (GITC) in Shanghai. At the kind invitation of Coke, I had the privilege of visiting the R&D centre, and discovering how and why the 124 year old company still dominates around the world.
Employing some 600 Coca-Cola China associates and the Pacific Group’s R&D team, the GITC is one of China’s few “green building”. It boasts of environmental systems like rooftop solar panels, rainwater harvesting facilities, wind turbines to power street lamps, heat reflective surfaces, and other planet-friendly features.