The biggest source of growth for Coca-Cola over the next few years is likely to be the company’s sugar-free version of the company’s soda of the same name.
“In fact, Coke Zero Sugar will be the best growth driver in ’21 and likely for the few years to come,” said James Quincey, CEO of Coke, in an interview that aired on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” Friday.
The drink was launched nationwide in 2017 as an updated version of Coke Zero, which was 12 years old at the time. Coke Zero Sugar was designed to be more similar to traditional Coke soda, but still appeal to health-conscious consumers by omitting the sugar. And the product has paid off for the company, fueling sales growth even during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Coke Zero grew through Covid in 2020 and is the biggest growth driver for the company in absolute terms,” Quincey told CNBC’s Sara Eisen.
Quincey pointed out Coke’s Topo Chico Hard Seltzer and AHA Sparkling Water as new products that did well in the early days of their launch.
Other beverage launches like Coke Energy have been challenged by the current crisis. Executives told analysts on Feb.10 that they would double Coke Energy this year after lockdowns impacted its first launch earlier last year.
Coke’s stock is down 16% over the past 12 months, bringing it to a market value of $ 215 billion.