February 18th, 2014
06:00 PM ET
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Coca-Cola - the world's ubiquitous brown fizzy drink - is staying afloat as the soda market shrinks, and many point to a marketing strategy around the so-called "secret recipe" as key to its resilience in a struggling industry.

The Coca-Cola Company, which published its full year result Tuesday, recorded a 5% drop in net income to $8.6 billion last year, down from $9 billion in 2012, as it faced "ongoing global macroeconomic challenges," according to its chief executive Muhtar Kent.

Volume grew 2% for the year, which it said was "below our expectations and long-term growth target," with sparkling beverages recording a slight increase of 1% - led by Coca-Cola.

Globally, soda drink sales have been shrinking as consumers turn to water, fruit drinks and healthier alternatives. The trend has hit Coke and other market players such as PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper. And while its primary competitor, PepsiCo, depends on its snack business to buoy the declining soda sales, Coke announced further investment into its marketing.

In a tough market, one strategy that brand experts credit Coke's relative strength with is the mystery around the much-hyped "secret recipe."

Read Does formula mystery help keep Coke afloat?

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Filed under: Big Business • Business and Farming News • News • Sip • Soft Drinks


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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Jessica

    The only reason coke is still prevalent is because nothing goes better with rum than coca cola.

    March 4, 2014 at 8:01 am | Reply
  2. Daenerys Stormborn

    If you must drink pop, try to find something sweetened with stevia.

    February 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  3. mike

    You mean the secret formula to make people obese is locked in a vault?

    February 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  4. Jdizzle McHammperpants ♫♫

    Coke sucks. Pepsi is the only Cola I drink (gotta be on ice), and it's rare. Otherwise, Dr. Pepper or Mt. Dew.

    February 19, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Yabbut

      Coke is better because it doesn't taste like contaminated sugar water drunk thru a metal straw.

      February 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  5. Arturo Féliz-Camilo

    Reblogged this on Mr. Feliz's Blog (Teacher Arturo).

    February 19, 2014 at 11:41 am | Reply
  6. Joi Gibson

    I have cut down on my soda consumption and, being from the south, I love, love, love iced tea. However, when I do go for soda, there is only the Real Thing, Coke!!!!! I used to drink it with breakfast a long time ago -:)

    February 19, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Jdizzle McHammperpants ♫♫

      What's being from the south have anything to do with it? I'm from Alaska and also love, love, love Iced Tea. They probably do in Sweden, too.

      February 19, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  7. Thinking things through

    I'm fine with seltzer. Maybe a squeeze of lemon or lime, if I happen to have one floating around my fridge.

    February 19, 2014 at 9:34 am | Reply
  8. Ann

    They probably keep the recipe secret because no one would want to drink it if they knew all the garbage that was in there.

    If I want something fizzy, seltzer is just fine.

    February 19, 2014 at 9:16 am | Reply
  9. Please

    This secrecy schtick is nothing more than a marketing ploy. Just a way to gain attention and make more money. Ain't America great?

    February 19, 2014 at 6:52 am | Reply
    • Jdizzle McHammperpants ♫♫

      Yes. It is.

      February 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  10. shawn l

    Soft drink prices have skyrocketed in the last 10 years, doubling from what they were in the past. This is a key reason why I stopped drinking pepsi. At a dollar a 2 liter, I wouldn't mind, at 1.89 or more, I will pass and just go with tea.

    February 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • Jdizzle McHammperpants ♫♫

      Right. Invest that $0.89 elsewhere.

      February 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Reply

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