To celebrate 129 years of sharing happiness since the Coca-Cola story began on May 8, 1886, The Coca-Cola Company is thanking everyone who has been part of Coca-Cola’s mission to refresh the world. The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, with a portfolio of more than 3,500 product variants, 17 billion dollar brands and operations in more than 200 countries worldwide. As the company looks ahead to the future with its vision for 2020, Coca-Cola will strive to obtain sustainable growth by focusing on the pillars of its brand – profit, people, portfolio, partners, planet and productivity.
“We would not have reached this milestone without those who love and patronize our brands. Everyone who has enjoyed a Coca-Cola in the past 129 years has played a crucial part in helping us refresh the world,” said Kapila Welmillage, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka. He further added, “Throughout this year, we want to celebrate our anniversary, by thanking people in Sri Lanka, and around the globe who have made the Coca-Cola brand what it is today. Coca-Cola is more than just a drink. It is an idea, a vision and a feeling. It is about great connections, lasting bonds and shared moments of happiness. To our associates, customers, partners and everyone who loves Coca-Cola and has impacted the brand in some way, we thank you.”
Spreading happiness in Sri Lanka: Coca-Cola’s journey in Sri Lanka began 59 years in April 1961, when consumers tasted their first ice-cold sip of Coca-Cola from a 300-millilitre glass bottle. Today in Sri Lanka, Coca-Cola has become one of the best loved beverages in the soft drinks market. Following the introduction of Trademark Coca-Cola, other global brands were added to the company portfolio including Coca-Cola Light, Sprite, Fanta, and the Minute Maid range of juices which provide consumers across the island with a variety of hydrating and nutritious beverage options.
Locally, Coca-Cola’s greatest brand strength is that it has continuously engaged with consumers through an exciting array of campaigns and activations. In Sri Lanka, the company has connected with consumers by becoming a part of Avurudu and Christmas festivities, as well as by supporting grassroots cricket through the Coca-Cola Cricket Pathways camps and organizing music festivals like ‘Coke Ekka Rock Wenna’. Coca-Cola was recently awarded, for the 8th consecutive time - The Youth Beverage Brand of the Year at the SLIM Nielsen People’s Choice Awards.
Coca-Cola’s most recent local campaign ‘Say it with Coke’ brought the brand’s most loved global campaign to the island and was amplified heavily via social media. The ‘Say it with Coke’ campaign features special edition Coca-Cola bottles with over 65 popular messages in English, Sinhala and Tamil. Through the campaign, consumers can break barriers of communication and spread happiness in their personal and professional lives by sharing Coca-Cola bottles with fun, caring and upbeat messages. The company has also touched thousands of lives through a variety of community and sustainability initiatives in the areas of women’s empowerment, water, sanitation and recycling.
Coca-Cola – A vision to serve people: As part of its 2020 vision, the company plans to double its system revenue by 2020, thus accomplishing in ten years what it achieved in the first 129 years of its operation. In an effort to empower women, Coca-Cola also launched the 5by20 programme, which is the brand’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020.
Community and environmental initiatives in Sri Lanka: As part of the 5by20 initiative in Sri Lanka, the company runs empowerment programmes that enable women to develop their entrepreneurship skills, support their families and acquire a greater quality of life. In Sri Lanka, Coca-Cola also focuses on making a difference to the environment in four key areas that impact its operations; these include water stewardship, sustainable packaging, energy management and climate protection. The company runs various water projects across Sri Lanka and recently received four prestigious awards from the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) in recognition of the company’s excellence in resource efficient and cleaner production practices. Last year, the company inaugurated 125 rainwater harvesting structures in Kilinochchi, in partnership with UN-Habitat, which brought clean water to 1600 villagers in the drought stricken area. Coca-Cola also facilitates ongoing PET plastic bottle collection drives and environmental education programmes across the country and educates children about the importance of protecting the planet, through its annual World Environment Day Debate.
Coca-Cola’s global history and legacy: Coca-Cola was originally discovered in 1886 by John Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta, USA. Together with his partner Frank M. Robinson, Pemberton named the dark brown syrup he invented Coca-Cola because it was made from kola beans. Robinson was the one who wrote the name joining the two “C’s” in Spencerian script, because he thought it would work well in advertising. 129 years later, Coca-Cola still uses the very same script, the same logo, and delivers the same refreshing and delicious taste and brand promise. Coca-Cola has also created some of the most memorable advertising campaigns that have carried the brand’s message of positivity and happiness through radio jingles, TV commercials, songs and various other platforms.
The constant passion to touch the lives of its consumers has made Coca-Cola one of the most preferred brands in Sri Lanka and the world. Coca-Cola is thankful for the continued support of its consumers and partners, and looks forward to many more years of refreshing the world with moments of optimism and positivity.