Items of interest that might have been missed in the press of events:
- Coca-Cola had expanded over the past few years into coffee, tea, dairy and water in an effort to attract drinkers who were eschewing soft drinks. The most recent report is that sales of soft drinks are rising, especially among younger drinkers, due in large part to the company’s variations on its cola namesake – there’s a diet version called Coke Zero Sugar (which has grown by 14% globally so far this year) and sales of 7.5 ounce mini cans have increased by 15%. The company is now rolling out a coffee-flavored variant called Coca-Cola Plus Coffee and a new energy drink, Coca-Cola Energy.
- Nestle, which is the world’s largest producer of bottled water, is in the process of overhauling its business in response to the rise of preferences for sparkling water as well as concerns about single-use plastic. As consumers cut back on sugary soft drinks in recent years, sales of bottled water increased, but now those have slowed with consumers opting for sparkling and flavored waters which are packaged in smaller quantities.
- Louis Vuitton, a well-known Paris brand, has built a 100,000 square foot factory in Alvarado, Texas, to make its monogrammed canvas and leather handbags for the American market. The company is recruiting and training employees locally, no experience needed.
- Britain’s antitrust regulator has launched a formal probe into Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo, a British delivery start-up. The regulator could block the deal if it finds the companies have breached antitrust rules.
- And, my favorite piece from the week’s readings is an editorial in the WSJ by Wyatt Wells, “Why ‘Strategic Plans’ Are Rarely Strategic – or Effective.” The author states that that “effective managers can list their goals on a note card – they don’t need long recitations of bromides.” I couldn’t agree more – my company does systemic strategy building sessions with our clients. We never engage in what’s become a ridiculous twist on ‘strategic planning’ where cookie-cutter, 150-page documents are pumped out just so the company can check that box.