Coca-Cola Co. will slash the number of products it sells and put a new emphasis on marketing efficiency as it tries to recover from what CEO James Quincey on Tuesday described as “the toughest and most complex quarter in Coca-Cola history.”
The global beverage giant reported a 28 percent drop in net revenues for the three months ending June 26 as earnings-per-share fell 32 percent to $0.41. Executives blamed the pandemic, which has forced the closure of bars, restaurants and other so-called “away from home” channels.
Sales have improved as establishments re-open. But with countries coming back at different speeds—and some, like the U.S., experiencing setbacks—executives were careful about being too bullish. “The pandemic is not behind us,” Chief Financial Officer John Murphy said on the earnings call. “There is still good reason to be cautious.”
The company paused most of its global ad spending as the coronavirus took hold in March and has slowly brought marketing back online in recent weeks. In early July it debuted a new campaign from Anomaly New York that plugs Coke with food, including an ad called “The Great Meal,” which features at-home dining during the pandemic.