Here is how to become a coca cola distributor, enjoying massive wholesale discounts on prices.
Coca Cola is arguably the world’s most recognizable brand. This company rose out of obscurity to become a global household name due to its people-focused message. The best part is, you get to become a part of its success story through distributorship opportunities it has created.
If you’re interested in becoming a distributor, this article will show you how to go about it.
While distributorship opportunities abound, certain factors will have to be figured out before proceeding. These and more have been included in this article for your benefit.
Without further ado, let’s begin as follows;
Choosing A Product To Distribute
To become a Coca Cola distributor, you’ll need to know all the products produced by the company. Now, products manufactured by Coca Cola include beverage concentrates and syrups. Plus finished beverages that include sports drinks, soft drinks, water, dairy and plant-based drinks including tea and coffee.
To further break these down, such products as Sprite, Schweppes, Diet Coke, Coca Cola Zero Sugar, Minute Maid, Costa, Dasani among several others are included.
Prospective distributors will have to decide what products to distribute. It all depends on the local market demand.
As Its Distributor, Will I Be Dealing Directly With Coca Cola?
This is a vital question because the company is huge with multiple levels of management.
If this seems a bit confusing to you, the following explanation should make things clearer;
The Coca Cola System
The Coca Cola system consists of three major levels. That is, the main company itself which formulates the beverage concentrates and syrup. Next are the bottlers or bottling operations. The last and equally important level of its operations in the distribution system.
This last stage is what we are most concerned with. Let’s consider each of these briefly.
i. The Coca Cola Company
At this stage, the company is more focused on product innovation, creation, and marketing. Here, it manufactures and sells beverage bases, concentrates as well as syrups.
So, who buys these products from Coca Cola? You guessed right! The bottling operations or bottlers who are equally critical to product supply and availability.
Note that products developed at this stage by the company aren’t finished products. These are in the form of concentrates and syrups.
Further processing is required, which takes us to the second channel of production; the bottling operations.
ii. Bottling Operations
All bottling activities operate under the coca-cola brand. In other words, the company owns and markets the brand.
Its bottling partners are saddled with the responsibility of drink manufacturing, packaging and merchandising of the final products. Without this basic segment of its operations, there will be no distribution opportunities at all.
Product distribution is a significant part of its operations. This links products to buyers. Distribution is usually done on a large scale (usually sold wholesale to retailers and end-users or consumers as well).
How Do You Come In?
As an interested entrepreneur seeking distribution opportunities, Your best bet is to approach the bottling operations arm of Coca Cola. You must also know those bottling operations are also in the business of distribution.
You’ll need to fulfill the set criteria to be considered for distribution opportunities.
The best way to come in as an investor is to apply for bottling rights. This might require a more detailed assessment of your capabilities in a bid to match qualified investors to available bottling opportunities. Bottling operations aren’t automatically awarded.
Coca Cola will have to factor in your location as well as determining if such location is suitable.
Suitability is determined by available territories. Existing bottling operations are strategically located to serve certain territories or locations. This applies to all coca-cola bottling locations across the world. The company makes it easy for you to locate bottlers close to your location through its bottler finder feature.
Contact will have to be established with Coca Cola to inform it of your desire to become a bottler. There’s a contact number (404-676-7563) for prospective investors to call for further discussion on the requirements for starting a bottling company.
There are guidelines and standards bottlers must abide by. These will be presented to you when you establish contact. If it isn’t, you shouldn’t forget to request for such.
Doing so enables you to follow the right procedures for establishing your bottling company. It strips the process of uncertainties as well.
Making The Right Moves
The help of a market research analyst is required to determine the market potentials of your current location.
Coca Cola will need such insight in determining if your locations will require a bottling/distributorship operation. The market research should also focus on available products in circulation. This is an area to explore when applying for a distributorship opportunity.
Writing a detailed business proposal is another requirement that must be fulfilled. This is presented to the company to enable it to assess your level of readiness and whether such distributorship opportunity is worth considering.
The company’s bottling standards and guidelines can be used as a guide in writing such a proposal.
One thing you should keep in mind as a prospective investor is that being approved as a coca-cola bottler wouldn’t guarantee success. A lot of work needs to be put into marketing. As a bottler who distributes finished products, there must be a ready market to sell your products too.
Luckily, the coca-cola brand is among the most formidable. Nevertheless, a lot of networking with local businesses will be required of you. Such businesses are largely made up of retailers such as restaurants, and vending partners.
Identifying and working with these partners will impact positively the business.
Becoming a coca-cola distributor as we’ve seen requires becoming a bottler of its concentrates. It also depends on your location or territory and if such territory is being served by an existing bottler. An existing bottler doesn’t preclude your chances of operating within that territory.
You can still serve that market if the existing bottler is restricted in the number of coca-cola products being produced.
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