Win in the Marketplace

Win in the Marketplace

Growth Capabilities

We are a customer-centric business aiming to provide value to our customers by growing their business and through perfect execution in the marketplace.

We grow by supporting our customers’ growth. To do this, we leverage our 24/7 portfolio and segmented sales execution to grow the overall beverage industry, focusing on areas of high value opportunity and executing with excellence.

With over 100 brands covering eight categories – sparkling, water, juices, ready-to-drink tea, energy, plant-based, premium spirits and coffee – we have more opportunities to help our customers delight consumers than ever before, by providing the brands and drinks people want, when and where they want them.

Accelerating our critical growth capabilities is a key driver of our Growth Story 2025 strategy. The key capabilities we are focusing on are customer-centric key account management, tech-enabled route to market, value-led revenue growth management, disciplined innovation, and big data and advanced analytics. Our digital transformation is accelerating within the business and is fundamental to all these capabilities, enabling us to better understand the real and changing needs of our customers and consumers, drive rapid revenue recovery in a profitable manner and anticipate or react to new challenges faster and smarter than our competition.

win-the-marketplace win-the-marketplace

Key account management Key account management

Our next-generation customer partnership model allows us to generate powerful insights from customer data, which supports tailored execution plans implemented in collaboration with our partners.

Throughout the global pandemic, we have prioritized safety and customer service, while avoiding supply disruptions. We stood by out-of-home customers as restrictions disrupted their operations and helped them reopen as restrictions eased.

We remained a key partner to our at-home customers, ensuring product availability and adapting our offering to focus on capturing growth opportunities. Our out-of-home customers had a more mixed year in 2021, but we stood by their sides throughout the crisis, providing them with consumer insights, targeted programmes and practical support as markets reopened.

As the hotel, restaurant and café (HoReCa) channel began to reopen, we introduced our HoReCa for tomorrow (H4T) framework to support channel acceleration. Through the H4T framework we focused on being a full-service partner to our customers, increasing the frequency of sales visits and helping to upgrade the HoReCa experience through both portfolio premiumisation and innovations. We are providing upskilling for customers and continuing to build our internal capabilities to support the channel.

Evolving our customer satisfaction approach

A key learning from 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic was that being close to our customers is the most important way to win in the market. We were able to make significant advances through 2020 with our customer experience and brought in additional improvements in 2021.

To remain competitive, we ensure that we listen and respond to every customer. In 2021 we made step changes to empower our salespeople to drive customer-centric behaviours and ‘close the loop’ to resolve issues immediately. When a customer raises an issue, we target a 48-hour response, listening carefully and improving their experience swiftly.

We launched CustomerGauge, a new digitally enabled customer experience feedback approach, across all our markets in 2021. We initiated a faster and simpler way of listening to our customers more frequently, and we enhanced our ability to capture more data and actionable insights to drive revenue growth. This is a key example of the digital transformation Coca-Cola HBC is undergoing in every aspect of the business.

Route to market Route to market

Optimising our digitally enabled route to market

Our route-to-market capabilities showcase our wide beverage portfolio in every outlet, increasingly assisted by technology. In a challenging year, our agile operating model, built through investment over several years, enabled us to react quickly to the changing environment.

We delivered impressive volume growth compared with 2019, even with most of our markets operating under restrictions for several months of the year and out-of-home visits much lower. The flexibility of our route to market allowed us to dynamically re-allocate our sales force, maximising opportunities in a changing marketplace. We actively supported our customers so that they could drive more transactions and capture growth opportunities as markets began to reopen.

Improvements made to our route to market, particularly through increased use of digital and data capabilities, are allowing for a more granular segmentation of our customer base, more targeted services and stronger execution. We further incorporated digital tools into our route to market, increasing our share of digital orders through our business-to-business platforms and increasing coverage of our Customer Portal across our markets.

With the reopening of our markets, we worked to reinforce our leadership through increased market execution in displays and the placement of connected coolers. On top of this we have enhanced our execution capabilities by the expansion of image recognition from three countries to eight.

To support our business growth and single-serve mix opportunities, we continued to invest in new coolers, reaching 88% coverage of our top customer outlets, up 3pp compared to last year. We now have a total of 1.4 million coolers on customer premises. Approaching half of these, 44%, have online connections, helping us drive the efficiency of our assets and enhance our sales teams’ productivity.

Investing in digital commerce

We have been investing in and developing a suite of digital commerce platforms and solutions to serve the growing numbers of consumers and customers choosing to shop online, a trend that has picked up substantially since the start of the pandemic. When customers order online, it streamlines processes, freeing up our business developers to help our customers develop their growth opportunities in the beverage category. It also has the potential to open our portfolio to large numbers of smaller outlets which may not have been economic for business developers to serve.

Our business-to-business Customer Portal has been transformed from an order-taking system to an engagement-driven, digital experience for business owners who want to maximise growth efficiently. After introducing our customer portal to 22 of our markets in 2020, we increased engagement through 2021, increasing the number of customers reached through our platform. This investment has helped us achieve rapid growth in online ordering, with the Customer Portal’s share of total orders quadrupling in 2021 to 8%.

We have also been investing behind several other business-to-business opportunities to better serve our customers, creating platforms where we can really leverage our existing physical route to market. WABI2B, for example, is a one-stop-shop for traditional trade and hotels, restaurants and cafés to buy products from us or from other consumer products groups. In 2021 we launched WABI2B in Nigeria and Russia.

While beverages are an attractive product for consumers to buy online given their bulk, the category is still relatively early in this transition, particularly when compared to other consumer categories. This creates a significant longer-term opportunity to capture growth in this channel. We are partnering with e-retailers and our existing brick-and-click customers to increase our digital shelf space and visibility as well as direct shopper engagement. We have also been increasing our presence on food delivery platforms, which deliver restaurant or take-away food directly to consumers’ homes.

Driving stronger capabilities across our salesforce

To deliver our strategy, our people need the right tools to address customer needs. This was the thinking behind the establishment of our Sales Academy in 2020, to build unmatched sales teams that constantly strive to improve our service and drive value with and for all our customers.

After a successful pilot in 2020, we launched the Sales Academy in all our markets in 2021. The Sales Academy has been developed as a transformative digital learning approach to help build our teams’ capabilities on the job, allowing each country to have flexibility to focus on the capabilities that are most relevant to their market.

Revenue growth management Revenue growth management

With The Coca-Cola Company, we have built a revenue growth management (RGM) framework that helps us maximise both the number and value of our transactions, supporting profitable top-line growth. We deliver this by improving mix across different levers, as well as through pricing and increasing the return on investment on our promotions. With these efforts, we help our customers meet consumer demand for affordability as well as premiumisation.

In 2021 we made progress with our smaller multi-serve entry packs, which allowed us to compete at attractive price points for the consumer and grow transactions in smaller baskets in a margin-accretive way. Sales of the multi-serve entry pack format grew by 16% in the year, driven by ongoing strong performance in Russia, Poland and Italy and the introduction of smaller packs in Hungary, Ireland and Czech Republic.

We also provide our customers with affordable options through our promotion strategy. Advanced analytics are helping us to quantify the incremental benefit from promotions at the customer and outlet level.

Premiumisation strategies have helped us sustain the increase in at-home consumption we saw during the first phases of the pandemic as consumers replicated out-of-home experiences at home. We drove greater sales of multi-pack single-serves, and this helped us to improve our single-serve mix in the at-home channel. Another driver of premiumisation is the growth of glass packages.

Pricing is another critical lever of our RGM strategy. In 2021, we implemented price increases in 95% of our markets. To support these pricing moves and make the best decisions, we analyse data on elasticities per brand, pack and pack type.

Leveraging technology for better execution_ Leveraging technology for better execution_

As we become the leading 24/7 beverage partner, we are unlocking growth potential in segments outside our core sparkling portfolio.

By offering a broader portfolio, with a wider choice of products, we grow our business and those of our customers. In established categories, new recipes, variants and packages are having a strong impact, while initiatives for new categories are the basis for long-term success.

With every initiative, we are focused on growing the value of our portfolio. Additionally, we have an internal innovation platform with thousands of employees currently engaged in the scheme. This is a hub for our employees to share their ideas, and so far, we have generated thousands of ideas. We also engage with external parties in our quest for innovation, partnering with leading universities and start-ups.

Big data and analytics Big data and analytics

To improve insight and decision-making, we use data and analytics capabilities to identify and capture value-creation opportunities, particularly for top-line acceleration and cost optimisation. We are now able to analyse data at a granular level, allowing us to implement focused initiatives that generate incremental value in targeted areas of the business. We expanded the use of these capabilities and achieved coverage of advanced analytics solutions across all our largest markets in 2021.

There are four priority areas we have been focusing on. The first, segmented execution, is where we use our capabilities to identify customer needs in different locations and different types of outlets to better target product assortment and marketing activities. Segmented execution has produced promising results across our largest markets in 2021, including volume increases and improved outlet prioritisation for new product launches. For the prioritization of our Costa Coffee roll-out in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Russia, we analysed a vast range of data, including demographics and traffic flow. In Bulgaria, for example, we targeted locations with proximity to city parks and those with outdoor seating areas.

The second priority is demand forecasting. We are driving operational excellence through machine learning, improving our forecasting for short- and long-term demand in our markets. This streamlines inventory management and prevents out-of-stock incidents.

Thirdly, we are transforming our promotion management with our algorithms providing a holistic measurement of the return on investment for each promotion, including the negative impact of forward buying, competitor promotions and cross-brand cannibalisation. Finally, we are using our data to help improve our retention efforts for business developers, as well as to understand drivers of successful performance.

To further scale our capabilities, we are combining a number of data sets to develop a 360-degree view of each of our customers, while also maintaining strong data governance. We have introduced leading data quality and governance tools to maintain the quality of our priority datasets, treating data as a strategic asset.