Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Trink Coke!

From the BBC:

Coca-Cola has formally agreed to change its sales practices in Europe after an EU investigation found that its business methods stifled competition.

Agreements with shops and bars to stock Coke drinks exclusively will now end as will its practice of giving stores rebates for hitting sales targets.

The European Commission said the legally binding agreement would give consumers more choice of fizzy drinks.

The deal, first outlined in October, followed a six-year competition probe.

Coke has about a 50% share of the European soft drinks market.

I would have sworn it was more than 50%. I guess there must have been people buying those weird little products like "American Cola" and "American Orange" (neither of which tasted very American). I was quite surprised at the dominance of Coke in Europe, having only found Pepsi products in Prague (where I enjoyed a Mountain Dew from a vending machine outside the Texans' favorite internet cafe) and Ulm (where I came across a Pepsi compound while wandering about).

The European Commission found that Coke, the world's largest producer of carbonated drinks, had used its corporate muscle to stifle competition through a series of sales agreements.

These required shops and bars selling Coke to also stock less popular brands such as Sprite and Vanilla Coke.

Yet I could never find Cherry Coke...

I enjoyed Coke in Europe - that's where I learned that McDonald's has the best Cokes - so the only changes I would have asked for would be the occasional Cherry Coke and colder refrigerators (I finally found these at the SPAR). Oh, and how about selling some Wild Berry Fanta in the US?

For more on expanding EU regulations, check out The European Union: Marketing Consultant.

And, in I'm-glad-this-never-happened-to-me-in-Europe news, Swiss Rail Network Grinds to a Halt.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure, a giant Coke can from Austria:


molly said...

Doesn't Coke have agreements like this all over the place? And pepsi too? In high school all we could drink was coke because the school had an agreement with them and at Gonzaga we can only drink pepsi. I also hate that at subway, they only serve pepsi. when eating at places like food courts, i always have to get my drink somewhere other than where i get my food. and so many restaurants only save pepsi.

i want them to sell coke light here. and i never found diet coke in Europe.

Nick said...

Part of the problem there might be that Pepsi (as YUM!) actually owns (to some degree) a bunch of fast food restaurants - Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, A&W and Long John Silver's. But I think most restaurants have agreements like that. I was surprised to find that a Wendy's in Alexandria serves Coke while the ones back in Spokane serve Pepsi.

Gonzaga is all-Pepsi except for a Coke machine in the law school (maybe it's hiding).