Odwalla, founded in 1980, is known to offer more than 20 different products such as plant-based juices, smoothies and energy bars. Coca-Cola acquired Odwalla in 2011 for $181 million. Still, Odwalla has been in decline for several years due to increased competition in the juice and smoothie industry and changes in the beverage category as a whole.
In 2020, after a multi-year review of the brand’s performance, Coca-Cola decided to axe Odwalla’s juice business because it was ultimately “unable to determine the cost-effectiveness of continuing to sell the beverage” and use its resources on other major juice brands such as Juice Source. One of them.
Dramatic cuts to its beverage brands
In recent years, Coca-Cola has been aggressively restructuring its product portfolio, removing some of its lesser-performing beverages from a number of its products in the name of “optimizing its business and growing the company’s size. CEO James Koonjer has been an advocate of taking risks with new ideas and abandoning them as soon as they are unsuccessful.
Since Coca-Cola CEO Kunjie Zhan took office, about 1,300 of Coca-Cola’s total 2,000 products have disappeared. In 2019, for example, Coca-Cola axed more than 600 products; in 2020, Coca-Cola suspended 200 products and divested several brands, including Tab, Zico, Odwalla and Diet Coke. Coca-Cola hopes this will allow it to shift its focus to higher-margin products.
Zhan Kunjie said Coca-Cola’s move was more about reducing distractions in the company’s efforts to stay focused, keep improving supply chain efficiency and open up more incremental space for innovation to achieve more growth.
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