Tokyo: US beverage giant Coca-Cola announced on 26 June plans to try to revitalise its business in Japan, where an aging population is taking the fizz out of soft drink sales.
Coca-Cola’s Japanese unit plans to acquire a 34% stake in partner company Tokyo Coca-Cola Bottling Co., buying newly issued shares as part of efforts to boost demand in a saturated market, company officials said.
“In a market that moves as quickly and dynamically as in Tokyo, we believe we need an even stronger strategic alliance with Tokyo Cola-Cola Bottling Company,” said Daniel Sayre, president of Coca Cola Japan Co.
Coca-Cola Japan will also dispatch three executives to the bottling company -- one third of its board of management.
Keiji Takanashi, president of Tokyo Coca-Cola Bottling, said that if the entire Japanese soft drinks industry could not see growth then even the top player would struggle.
“The market can expand more, if we provide more tasty, safer and cheaper products. In this sense, we, the top runner in this industry, have many challenges,” said Takanashi.
In addition to carbonated beverages, Coca-Cola Japan also makes coffee and tea drinks which are popular with Japanese, and also operates thousands of vending machines.
Including the Tokyo bottling firm, there are 12 Coca-Cola partner companies in Japan manufacturing and selling non-alcoholic beverages.