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PESTLE and SWOT analysis of Coca Cola 2017


By: Jonathan Kush


2016 was a challenging year for the carbonated soft drinks (CSD) market in the US which has declined for nine straight years, largely due to a decline in soda sales, part of a long-term trend that has seen total sales and volume of sugary sodas consumed decline for 11 consecutive years, as consumer worries over use of high calorie sugars and artificial sweeteners escalate. Even sales for diet sodas, supposed to be the industry saviours, continue to dip primarily due to increased scepticism of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, a controversial artificial sweetener often used in diet colas. Diet sodas sold by both The Coca-Cola Company and rival Pepsico posted steep volume declines last year as consumers opted for healthier options. 2016 sales for Diet Coke fell by 4.3% from the previous year while Diet Pepsi was down by 9.2%. With carbonated drinks losing market share to non-carbonated drinks especially bottled mineral water, Coca-Cola is seeking to remake its portfolio under new CEO James Quincey, with strategic emphasis being placed on what American consumers are actually drinking such as bottled water or very small mini soda cans. In the following report, we will identify the major drivers of change behind Coca Cola’s external environment looking at the general trends driving the soft drinks industry in general. This will help us understand how The Coca Cola Company can utilise its brand competencies so as to take advantage of macro environmental opportunities while at the same time neutralising emerging threats that are chipping away at its success.



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