The Coca-Cola Company reports strong fourth quarter sales as sugar-free drinks hit sweet spot

By Laura Mullan
The Coca-Cola Company reported strong fourth-quarter earnings results despite battling a shrinking market for its core products. The growth of sugar-fr...

The Coca-Cola Company reported strong fourth-quarter earnings results despite battling a shrinking market for its core products. 

The growth of sugar-free drinks and new products like Smartwater and Appletiser helped to offset flat soft drink sales at the company. 

The beverage giant reported 6% organic revenue growth in its fourth quarter as sales of waters and sports drinks were up 2% and tea and coffee beverages also rose by 2%.

Meanwhile, sales of carbonated soft drinks remained flat and its juice, dairy, and plant-based beverages declined by 2%.


Coca-Cola’s net revenue declined 20% for the quarter as sales were impacted by the company’s refranchising of bottling facilities, which the company says are now complete.

The beverage giant was also hit hard by a one-time 43.6bn charge due to changes in US tax laws.

"We achieved or exceeded our full-year guidance while driving significant change as we continued to transform into a total beverage company," said James Quincey, Coca-Cola CEO. 

"While there is still much work to do, I am encouraged by our momentum as we head into 2018."

It has been a difficult period for the soft drink market, with rival Pepsi recording a drop in beverage sales in North America as industry challenges continue to intensify. 

Coca-Cola CEO Quincey says that he hopes to tackle these challenges by investing in smaller, diversified beverage companies and becoming a “total beverage company.” 


Featured Articles

Top 10 customer experience (CX) trends in 2023

Food Digital breaks down the Top 10 customer experience (CX) trends taking centre stage for 2023, including predictive analytics, AR, metaverse and more

Absolut joins the sustainable drink trend with paper bottle

Sustainability is driving brand changes at Absolut as the drinks brand focuses on delivering new designs and a sustainable paper-based recyclable packaging

Careers Passport: flagship programme to help jobseekers

A fast-track job scheme designed to remove barriers to enter the food and drink industry has seen over 1,000 training opportunities created.

Coca-Cola, Diginex & Reckitt tech to support supply chains


Luxury food manufacturer Venchi on sustainable packaging


How has the pandemic affected sales at General Mills?