Cola Wars Bottling vs Concentrate

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Cola Wars Compare the economics of the concentrate business to that of the bottling business: Why is the profitability so different? The returns received by concentrate producers differ from those received by bottlers for several reasons … Concentrate producers: Capital investment. Concentrate production business is less capital intensive than bottling. It requires less funds to be invested in machinery, labor and modernization. "A typical concentrate manufacturing plant cost about $25 million to $50 million to build, and one plant could serve the entire United States" (Yoffie, 2007). The number of significant costs is small. The major ones are: advertising, Market Research and product development. However, concentrate producers…show more content…
"Bottlers ' gross profits routinely exceeded 40%, but operating margins were usually in the 7% to 9% range (Comparative Costs of a Typical U.S. Concentrate Bottler and Producer). Stability. The returns received by bottlers are less than returns received by concentrate producers due to the risk levels as well. The concentrate producers are responsible for brand promotion and invest heavily in trademark to stimulate sales. High returns are what they get as the result. However, bottlers have little risk in their operations as they are given the famous name well-known all over the world. This development provides them with stable returns, and low risk. How has the competition between Coke and Pepsi affected the industry’s profit? The competition between Coke and Pepsi reached its peak to become a real war battle by the year 1980. This war had affected the industry profit for both concentrate producers and bottlers, while the effect of bottlers was much higher. After the successful “Pepsi Challenge” (blind taste tests: sales shot up) in 1974, Coke countered with rebates, retail price cuts and significant concentrate price increases. Pepsi followed of a 15% price increase of its own. During the early 1990’s bottlers of Coke and Pepsi employed low price strategies in the supermarket channel in order to compete with store brands. The concentrate producers were always able to increase their profits by increasing the concentrate price, while the bottlers, especially the
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