Coca-Cola Celebrates 50 Years of Innovation in Japan



    The #1 Advertising Award in Japan, Launch of Coca-Cola Zero, Investment
in Tokyo Bottler, Establishment of New Japan Foundation with 1 Billion Yen
Donation Highlight Golden Anniversary

    TOKYO, June 26 /CNW/ - The Coca-Cola Company this week celebrates its
50th anniversary in Japan, a key market that has contributed significantly to
the Company's overall success over the past half century.

    In June 1957, Coca-Cola was introduced to Japanese consumers, and for the
last 50 years the Company and its bottling partners have led the nonalcoholic
beverage industry in Japan with innovation and strong marketplace execution.

    "Coca-Cola Japan's growth - and its recognition as a Japanese corporate
citizen, rooted in the local marketplace - is the result of successive
generations of excellent managerial leadership, the dedication of employees,
and the tireless efforts of bottling partners and affiliates," said Neville
Isdell, chairman and chief executive officer, The Coca-Cola Company.

    "Across all geographies around the world, we are inspired and fortified
by the leadership and innovations that we've come to expect over the last
half-century from Coca-Cola Japan," said Muhtar Kent, president and chief
operating officer, The Coca-Cola Company. "Japan is absolutely critical to our
system's future growth. Not only because of the sheer size of this market, but
also because of the constant stream of leadership and innovation that springs
from this great nation."

    During the past half-century, the Coca-Cola system in Japan has pioneered
many beverage industry innovations - from new products to cutting-edge vending
machine technology - serving as a model for Coca-Cola operations around the
world.

    Portfolio, Marketing and Award-Winning Advertising

    With a beverage portfolio of more than 60 brands, consisting of over 200
sparkling and still beverage products, the Company is the leading nonalcoholic
beverage company in Japan and has a long history of product innovation.

    Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite
have long been favorites with Japanese consumers. And just this month, the
Company introduced another sparkling beverage innovation - Coca-Cola Zero, a
great tasting cola with zero calories - to the Japan market. Key customers,
including McDonald's, are helping to sample over 5 million packages in June.

    This follows the very successful launch of the "Coke Side of Life," which
according to CM Databank's monthly consumer survey is the most popular
advertising campaign in Japan. This marks the second consecutive year
Coca-Cola Japan advertising has earned this honor.

    Building on its core sparkling beverage business, the Company began
expanding its offerings to include a wide variety of still beverages. In 1975,
the Company recognized the potential of ready-to-drink coffee and introduced
Georgia Coffee, the number one ready-to-drink coffee in Japan. With 17
flavors, Georgia Coffee is the recognized leader in this key category.
Complementing the Georgia Coffee platform, the Company earlier this year
launched Patissiolle, a new chilled cup coffee product in a proprietary
aluminum package.

    In 1983, the Company launched Aquarius, which has become the nation's
number-one sports drink. In the 1990s, Sokenbicha ready-to-drink tea was
introduced and is now the category leader in Japan.

    Vending Innovation

    The Company and its bottling partners have long led the way in vending
machine innovation. The Company introduced hot and cold vending machines,
cashless payment options and networked vending systems. Today, Coca-Cola has
more than one million vending machines that sell its beverages in convenient,
fun and interactive ways to Japanese consumers.

    Franchise Leadership

    The Coca-Cola Company's 50 years of success in Japan reflects the
strength of the relationship with its 12 bottling partners, who are recognized
for their advanced market development and execution capabilities.

    Over the years, the Coca-Cola system has taken significant actions to
increase efficiency and invest in the business, including the consolidation of
Coca-Cola West Japan, Kinki CCBC and Mikasa CCBC and the formation of national
supply chain (Coca-Cola National Beverages) and customer (Coca-Cola Customer
Marketing Company) companies.

    Reflecting the importance of the bottling partnership and the
significance of the Japanese market, the Company announced earlier today it
was making a strategic investment in the Tokyo Coca-Cola Bottling Company by
taking a 34% ownership stake in the Bottler through the purchase of
newly-issued shares. This transaction represents the commitment of both
companies to effectively build a mutually strong, close relationship and
capture growth opportunities in the important Tokyo market.

    Commercial Leadership

    The Coca-Cola system in Japan has also focused on innovation directly
with its customers, resulting in the formation of a new business model. In
January, the Company and its bottling partners in Japan jointly established
the Coca-Cola Customer Marketing Company (CCCMC) and have begun rolling out
new customer-specific initiatives. CCCMC serves as the point of contact with
major retailers, such as nationwide convenience store and supermarket chains,
regarding the business relationship, sales promotions and merchandising
activities.

    Corporate Responsibility

    The Company and its bottling partners, operating as local businesses in
local communities across Japan, recognize the Coca-Cola system succeeds in
communities that thrive.

    Since 1970, the Japan Coca-Cola Bottlers Scholarship Foundation has
awarded college scholarships every year to economically disadvantaged students
with outstanding academic records.

    In the 1970s, the Coca-Cola system in Japan led the introduction of Keep
Japan Beautiful, a campaign to promote environmental protection. For over 40
years, the Coca-Cola system has been sponsoring the H.I.H. Takamado Trophy,
All Japan Junior-High-School Student English Oratorical Contest.

    Since then, the Coca-Cola system in Japan has taken a leadership role in
environmental education. The activities include the Coca-Cola Environment
Education Foundation awards program, the Coca-Cola Ecology School program and
the Keep Our Town Beautiful community project.

    In the latest example of the Coca-Cola system's community commitment, the
Company and its bottling partners announced earlier today the establishment of
the Coca-Cola Educational and Environmental Foundation. The Foundation's major
activities include the support for education of young people in the fields of
environment, education, and sports and the support and recognition of
activities for the younger generation in the areas of environmental
conservation and international exchange.

    In support, The Coca-Cola Foundation in Atlanta contributed an additional
1 billion Yen (US$8.6 million) to help fund and expand community efforts in
Japan over the next five years.

    "I congratulate our bottling partners and all our associates, whose
relentless dedication, world-class skills and unyielding pursuit of excellence
have built the successful system we have today," said Dan Sayre, president of
the Coca-Cola Japan Company. "I look forward to continuing and accelerating
this legacy of innovation, and to creating new value for our consumers,
customers and all stakeholders for the next 50 years and beyond."




For further information:

For further information: The Coca-Cola Company Charles Sutlive,
404-676-5451 or Coca-Cola Japan Tsutomu Igaki, 03-5466-8120

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