This week Down Under

CCA defends Coke No Sugar against Woolworths and Domino’s decisions

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

CCA defends Coke No Sugar against Woolworths and Domino’s decisions
Coca-Cola Amatil has voiced its “disappointment” at Domino’s’ decision not to renew its contract with the Australian bottler, and defended Coca-Cola No Sugar after Woolworths decided to defer stocking the new drink.

The retail major said last week that it would hold off selling the new sugar-free product until a later date, saying that consumers had no shortage of sugar-free cola options already.

Subsequently, the pizza chain announced that it would switch its drinks supply contract to CCA’s arch-rival, PepsiCo.

CCA had billed the launch of Coca-Cola No Sugar as its biggest in a decade, since it began selling Coke Zero in 2006.

Coca-Cola No Sugar responds directly to increasing consumer demand for greater range in low-kilojoule beverage options​,” CCA said in a statement.

It cited “extensive consumer research​” that found the product to be preferred by Coca-Cola Classic drinkers over Coke Zero, and equally liked by Coke Zero drinkers. 

Amatil is very confident in the role that the variant will play in the Coca-Cola brand and its appeal to the Australian consumer​,” it added.

The new sugar-free line, which has been rolling out since mid-June across Australia, is already stocked across a number of channels.

CCA said: “Early market indications, consistent with pre-launch consumer research, are supporting what we have anticipated, that Coca-Cola No Sugar will be a much-loved product with thousands of consumers already taking up their free samples from Coles, McDonald's, 7-Eleven and others​.”

Regarding the decision by Domino's not to renew their supply arrangement, the bottler said it respected the chain’s decision to do so, adding that it was “always disappointed when customers choose not to make our products available to their consumers​”.

It stressed that neither decision was material to the performance of the group on the financial markets.

More from Down Under…

Brand owner refutes rumour that XXXX brewery will close

Australian brewery major Lion has categorically denied that its iconic Castlemaine Perkins brewery in Brisbane will close after media reported that staff had been notified of the closure.

XXXX

A Lion spokesman quickly refuted comments by a union official that staff were told in June of the closure of the plant, which manufactures Castlemaine XXXX.

Referring to a claim by United Voice co-ordinator Damien Davie, Lion’s Dan Holland said in a statement that there was no truth in it.

These recent claims are false; we are actually hiring five more permanent people right now​,” Holland said.

There are no job losses. In fact, there will be pay offers on the table—on top of the best pay and work conditions in brewing in Queensland​.

We simply want to the ability bring on additional people in summer, when we brew more beer. This is how every other seasonal manufacturer operates, but our current agreement is confusing and prohibitive​.”

Davie had claimed that some workers had also received threats the plant would close if negotiations to scrap full time jobs in favour of labour hire, part-time and casual positions were unsuccessful.

He said that the five new jobs would be part-time positions that would replace full-time roles. He called on XXXX’s Japanese parent to put its claims in writing and commit to full-time jobs at the brewery.

The continued push to bring in labour-hire employees and casualise the workforce is the main reason cited by management when threatening workers with closing the plant​,” he added.

NZ food group to launch industry internship programme

The New Zealand Food and Grocery Council will launch an internship programme to “create a pipeline of top talent for the FMCG industry​”.

Internship

The initiative will be unveiled in Auckland on July 27, and has been developed in response to feedback from FGC’s members.

The launch event will outline the opportunity, attraction, selection and recruitment process along with the training programme, which offers the opportunity for companies to “connect with talented university students before they graduate​”.

Selection will be co-ordinated by industry experts, while interns will be expected to take part in a tailored training programme.

Companies will get the chance to evaluate potential future graduate candidates during the internship. They will also gain the ability to build their brands on campus now, and engage brand ambassadors for the future, FGC said in a statement.

The launch event will be presented by Talent Solutions principal consultant Seren Wilson and Bizadvisor director Kelly Smith.

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