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Jun 19, 2022
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Coca-Cola is leaving: The fight for their factories will be fierce

In the photo: entrance to the territory of the Coca-Cola HBC Eurasia Moscow Plant LLC plant.  Coca-Cola HBC AG, which includes manufacturers and distributors of its products in Russia, is in the process of reducing capacity.

In the photo: entrance to the territory of the Coca-Cola HBC Eurasia Moscow Plant LLC plant. Coca-Cola HBC AG, which includes manufacturers and distributors of its products in Russia, is in the process of reducing capacity. (Photo: Artem Geodakyan/TASS)

There will be no more drinks Coca-Cola, Fanta and other “model line” of the American company in the Russian Federation, the concern completely ceases its activities in Russia. The Russian trademarks that he owns are also in question. Analogues of harmful overseas soda have already begun to actively “unwind”, although we, by and large, do not need it. There are products developed back in the years of the USSR, which are much better in terms of consumer properties.

Coca-Cola was “added on”. The loss of the Russian market will not cause any significant damage to the transnational giant, although, of course, it will not improve the reporting figures. In fact, all investments in advertising made in almost 40 years have gone down the drain. It happens. All claims – to the White House (USA, Washington, Pennsylvania Northwest Avenue, 1600).

PepsiCo is holding on for now, but apparently they don’t have long to go either. Together, both companies occupied exactly half of the Russian soft drinks market, and their competitors are now “abusing” with might and main, celebrating the departure of foreigners.

“With the departure of Coca-Cola, many cafes and restaurants will also need an alternative to drinks in the bar menu. Now we are at the final stage of choosing partners who will help us in national distribution in this sales channel,” says the General Director of JSC Moscow Beer and Non-Alcoholic Plant Ochakovo Yuri Antonov.

By the way, Russian companies began to prepare for the departure of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo already in the spring, immediately after the start of the “special operation”. Very transparent.

Complete analogues of “American kvass” have already appeared, they are brought to the market. For professionals, the recipe for imported drinks is no secret. CoolCola, Fancy and Street from Ochakovo appeared in May instead of Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite. And Megapak rearranged its Funky Monkey just on the day when the Americans announced their withdrawal from the Russian market. Prepared and “gasped”. Cunningly.

However, any phenomenon has both pluses and minuses. And it’s worth starting with prices. Foreign concerns, as is customary all over the world, worked on volumes, with a rather modest margin. Modest by Russian standards, big by world standards. And, due to the laws of competition, Russian competitors also had to adapt to them. There are no more Westerners. What will happen to prices?

Most likely, large Russian manufacturers will try to occupy the niche of “non-residents” who left the market and arrange something similar. Namely, they will put pressure on volumes and attractive prices. Especially if they get Coca-Cola factories, and there are already ten of them in the Russian Federation. Serious asset.

“As for production facilities, I believe they will try to sell them to some profile player from the top 5 large Russian companies that are ready to expand and are able to manage such sites in different territories. These can probably be Chernogolovka, Megapak, United Bottling Group and Moscow Brewing Company,” says the founder of Famous Amazing Brands. Anton Stelmakov.

In the photo: a can line at the Coca-Cola Hellenic plant in the Rostov region
In the photo: a can line at the Coca-Cola Hellenic plant in the Rostov region (Photo: TASS / Valery Matytsin)

The fight for the factories will be notable, because the one who gets them will be able to greatly press the competitors. Undoubtedly, production capacity will still have to be invested – the equipment is set up for a special recipe – but these are details.

“I am glad that our market has left McDonald’s, the second good news was the departure of Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola has never published the full composition of the drink’s ingredients and their proportions, citing copyright. Therefore, it’s better to let them fail with their ‘liquor’, in the recipe of which it’s not clear what, ”said the former chief Russian sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko.

The recipe for Coca-Cola is indeed a top-secret thing. Of course, it has long been unraveled, there are enough “clones” with a completely identical taste, but still it is not revealed. This is one of the elements of the marketing policy, advertising “lure”.

However, all Coca-Cola, Fanta and other drinks of the concern are completely standard. The taste does not depend on the plant and country of production. The author has traveled around the planet quite a lot – yes, it is. Everything is the same everywhere, here the Americans are great.

Domestic (Soviet) drinks are undoubtedly better. “Baikal”, “Pinocchio”, “Tarhun”, “Sitro”, “Sayans” and “Duchess” are made from natural raw materials. Similarly – for kvass. Follow the recipe and “swill” will not work. However, not everyone complies.

In the photo: a line for bottling soft drinks at the Coca-Cola Hellenic plant in the Rostov region
In the photo: a line for bottling soft drinks at the Coca-Cola Hellenic plant in the Rostov region (Photo: TASS / Valery Matytsin)

“Sodium benzoate and sorbic acid have been used in our country since the 60s, the first one in soft drinks, the second one in juices and juice drinks. For a thousand liters of drink, only 170 grams of sodium benzoate is consumed.

This is the maximum allowable dosage recommended by Rospotrebnadzor. It is impossible to exceed the concentration. Another limitation: the drink should not contain “chemistry” that can react with it.

However, there are no inorganic preparations in Baikal, so it does not even pose a theoretical threat to health,” said the author of Baikal, head of the laboratory for soft drink technologies of the All-Russian Research Institute of the Brewing, Non-Alcoholic and Wine Industry Galina Filonova.

If you take a bottle of a “branded” soft drink, then you can read the composition there. But on the products of little-known companies, common words are often written. And one comes across such a fierce “chemistry” that it’s simply impossible to say in a fairy tale, not to describe with a pen … And it’s not always cheap, it’s just that regional markets are sometimes “occupied” by local producers, and there are all sorts of different ones.

Yes, sometimes there are reverse examples – inexpensive high-quality “provincial” drinks. But, alas, you can run into an infernal bodyaga of an “acid” color much more often. Sometimes it is called “Tarhun”, “Citro” or something like that, but this terrible swill has nothing to do with the “original”.

The same picture for the most patriotic drink – kvass. It is very difficult to buy a good one, and even a “Soviet” one is almost impossible. The Belarusians from Lida are closest to the ideal, which is not surprising – there GOSTs are supposed to be fulfilled under pain of imprisonment. You won’t spoil the Old Man! A very correct policy, we would like this …

This is unlikely, there are too many who want to body something like “Yupi” and bottle it. Fortunately, it is not a problem to buy all sorts of monstrous concentrates, for every taste and color. “Just add water”. As you might guess, the same Coca-Cola compared to them is just a sample of a natural product.

In fact, the Russian market of non-alcoholic beverages will now experience a second formation. And what it will come to one can only guess. There are too many unknowns, including the level of solvency of the population. But in general, everything looks positive. Not like now, when in the same “Auchan” all the shelves are filled with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo products, and you can’t buy Baikal. Yes, and sometimes there are problems with kvass.

True, some figures have already begun the “lament of Yaroslavna.”

“Coca-Cola products can be safely imported through parallel imports and bought, conditionally, through Alibaba. What problems?” – says the commissioner under the President of the Russian Federation for the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs Boris Titov.

So – instead of “punching” the supply of much-needed machine tools to the Russian Federation, the “business ombudsman” (what a strange word, not ours …) takes care of sales of the American drink.

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