How many products does Coca Cola have

From start-up to global corporation

The Coca-Cola Company recently announced plans to transform the company into a Total Beverage Company. This is to be achieved by realigning the growth strategy to reflect changing consumer tastes and changed purchasing behavior. According to President and Chief Operating Officer James Quincey, this new strategy requires a greater focus on building and bringing to market “consumer-centric” brands, including more low and sugar free varieties and beverages in new product categories.

Read about ten other business decisions over the past 130 years that have transformed Coca-Cola from a novel drink served in a small Atlanta pharmacy to one of the most famous brands in the world:

1886-1940s: Coke for a nickel

Coca-Cola's early leaders firmly believed that their product had to be affordable and widely available. To accomplish this, the company limited the price of a Coke to five cents - or a nickel - for over 50 years. Despite the burden of two world wars and the Great Depression, the company insisted on making this attempt, because the greatest possible acceptance of the product could best be guaranteed if Coca-Cola was affordable for everyone. The stable price meant that there was more and more demand for the product, which in turn drove the bottling companies to buy more syrup to make the product.

1894: The invention of the tasting voucher

Although Coca-Cola was a great tasting product, many consumers outside of the southeastern United States were unfamiliar with it. To counteract this, Asa Griggs started Candler, who suggested the recipe for Coca-Cola to its inventor, Dr. John Pemberton bought in 1888 to give out free sample vouchers to those who wanted to try a sip of Coke. From 1894 to 1913, more than 8.5 million vouchers were redeemed for a free coke. By that time, one in nine Americans had tasted Coca-Cola.

1899: The creation of the Coca-Cola system

When the beverage industry was exposed to major changes and intense competition at the end of the 19th century, Candler focused on expanding sales. By selling rights to fill more bottles of Coca-Cola, he geared himself to creating more demand for his product across the country. In 1899, Candler sold the Coca-Cola bottling rights for $ 1 to attorneys Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead of Chattanooga, Tennessee, resulting in what we now know as the Coca-Cola System: a franchise partnership between the Coca-Cola Cola Company and more than 250 bottlers worldwide. With this system, the reach of Coca-Cola could be expanded far beyond Candler’s imagination and the drink is now sold in more than 200 countries.

1915: Introduction of the iconic contour bottle

Almost immediately after its launch, tons of Coca-Cola copies appeared, hoping to mimic the success of the drink. To counter this, Coca-Cola called on glass companies to create a new bottle design that could be clearly distinguished, even if the bottle was broken on the floor or even felt in the dark. In 1915, the shape of the cocoa pod inspired the Root Glass Company to create the glass vessel known today as the contour bottle in order to be able to clearly differentiate Coke from competing products. More than 100 years later, the contour bottle is now a globally famous and immediately recognizable icon.

1940s: Coca-Cola in wartime

During World War II, the President of Coca-Cola, Robert Woodruff, insisted that Coke should be available to any American soldier for five cents, no matter where they were and what the costs were for the Company. A group of employees known as technical observers were sent with the American army to set up, supervise and control bottling plants that were to be used to supply US troops with Coca-Cola. Woodruff’s vision during this difficult time promoted the development into a global corporation by introducing the product in various markets. Regardless of this global impact, this measure laid the foundation for a certain brand loyalty among the troops and families in the USA and their love for the product lasted for generations.

Diversification of the 60s: Minute Maid, Sprite, TaB and Fresca

The 1960 acquisition of The Minute Maid Corporation marked the company's first milestone outside of the carbonated beverage segment. At the time of sale, Minute Maid had a third of all sales in the US juice category and had made a name for itself as a manufacturer of quality products. This investment was a key moment for Coca ‑ Cola, which expanded and diversified its portfolio over the years to come. After the successful takeover of Minute Maid, Coca-Cola launched Sprite, the company's first lemon-lime drink, as well as TaB, the first light drink, and Fresca, a sugar-free citrus drink, over the next few years. Since then, the Coca-Cola Company's product range has grown to include more than 3,800 drinks from a wide variety of categories. In 2015 alone, the company launched more than 600 new products.

1982: Diet Coke

In the late 1970s, Coca-Cola began developing a new drink that would boost Cola sales and meet the growing need for low-calorie beverages. In 1982 the company introduced Diet Coke as the first extension of the Coca-Cola trademark to a great deal of hype. Although there were initial concerns that a new diet drink might weaken the brand, Diet Coke made it to the top of the sugar-free beverage market in the first year of its launch. The introduction of Diet Coke marked an important milestone for the company as it marked the beginning of a new era in which the company took risks and introduced new, unique beverages that met the changing needs of consumers.

1985: A new Coca-Cola

In 1985 the Coca-Cola Company tried to revive the cola market and withdrew its flagship product from the market to replace it with the New Coke, which had its recipe changed for the first time in 99 years. Although this introduction was initially dismissed as the business faux pas of the century, some analysts viewed it as an unintentional marketing stroke of genius. Amid negative media coverage, protests, letters, phone calls and consumers trying to hoard as much original Coke as possible, an emotional bond between the Coca-Cola brand and its consumers was recognized. At a press conference announcing the return of the original Coke recipe, then President and CEO Don Keough stated, "The company's passion for the original Coke was a big surprise." After the original formula was brought back as the Coca-Cola Classic, the drink regained the title of America's Most Popular Soft Drink.

Late 1990s and early 2000s: Change to a “general beverage manufacturer”

In the late 1990s, Coca-Cola began talking about moving from a primarily carbonated beverage company to a “general beverage company”. The numbers of various early product launches indicated a rapidly growing number of non-carbonated beverage consumers, particularly in the US market. In 1999 Dasani was launched as the company's first water brand in the USA, Simply Juices followed in 2001, Gold Peak Tees in 2006 and the last time vitaminwater and smartwater were bought in 2007. Today, these names are among the Company's 20 brands with more than $ 1 billion in retail sales annually.

From today to the future: Stay on the ball with consumer trends

With consumers looking for new and exciting beverages around the world, the Company is looking for modern ways to capture growing trends in new ways by acquiring shares in rapidly growing beverage companies. In 2007, Coca-Cola North America created a Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) team to track and identify the next generation of multi-billion dollar brands and add them to their portfolio. VEB acts partly as a venture capitalist and partly as a brand developer who has bought or invested in companies such as Honest Tea, Zico, Suja and Core Power. Outside of the United States, the Company also endeavors to continue to acquire or invest in brands that respond to the explosion in consumers and the variety of beverages available around the world. Recently announced global acquisitions or investments in AdeS *, Latin America's leading soy-based brand; Chi Limited, a successful producer of milk and juice beverages in West Africa; and China Culliangwang, a producer of plant-based protein drinks made from high quality agricultural sources.

The company has seen steady growth in carbonated beverages and even an incessant rise in the original and popular Coca-Cola brand.

* depending on the necessary regulatory approvals and certain closing conditions.