“We believe that DSD continues to provide retailers, both large and small, with the most efficient and effective distribution of Coca-Cola products,” says Rice. “We believe the ultimate success measure for retailers is increasing Powerade sales, which is more a matter of operational performance on the part of the bottler than warehouse delivery.”
The Coca-Cola Co. fired back at the bottlers, saying it was “extremely disappointed.”
“These suits are actions against our consumers and our customers,” says Don Knauss, president of Coca-Cola North America. “The actions by bottlers who represent approximately 10 percent of our company’s U.S. volume would greatly hamper the Coca-Cola system from competing with other sports drink brands, and that does a great disservice to the system, its people and its consumers.