Q&A: Does Coca-Cola Franchise in the UK?

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coca-cola logo

Coca-Cola is one of the biggest brands in the world today. If you’re interested in benefitting from its huge reach and market dominance, read on to find out more about the business and whether there are any Coca-Cola franchise opportunities.


Coca-Cola is the world’s leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of non-alcoholic drink concentrates and syrups. Its drinks range is manufactured across the globe, but there are six production sites in the UK, employing 4,000 people. Today, it has a brand value of almost $70 billion and an international workforce of more than 60,000 people.

Everyone has heard of Coca-Cola, but you might not know that it owns over 500 brands. These include:

  • Coca-Cola Classic
  • Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
  • Diet Coke
  • Fanta
  • Sprite
  • Dr Pepper
  • Lilt
  • Oasis
  • Appletiser
  • Honest herbal teas
  • Powerade
  • Glaceau Smartwater
  • Schweppes

History of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola dates back to 1886, when pharmacist John Pemberton experimented with carbonated water and sugar syrups. Within two years, he had perfected his top-secret recipe and was selling the drink we know and love today to consumers across the US.

In the 20th century, Coca-Cola worked to boost its profile. In 1928, it publicly endorsed the Olympic Games, joining the US team in Amsterdam. And during the Second World War, it sold “every man in uniform” a bottle of Coca-Cola for just five cents.

Maintaining fitness and reducing sugar intake became popular among consumers in the 1980s. Coca-Cola moved with the times, introducing Diet Coke to cater for health-conscious customers. This interest in healthier carbonated drinks has endured; today, zero or low-calorie products account for more than one in three of all soft drinks sold in the UK.

By recognising consumer trends and encouraging people to try its products, Coca-Cola has managed to secure one of the beverage industry’s top spots, selling 1.9 billion drinks internationally every day. But it’s not just driven by monetary gain; its ambition to “inspire moments of optimism” is reflected in partnerships with organisations that give back to the community. Coca-Cola has cultivated alliances with:

  • WWF-UK
  • Special Olympics GB
  • StreetGames
  • ukactive
  • The Rivers Trust
  • Hubbub
  • Every Can Counts

Does Coca-Cola franchise?

Coca-Cola is technically classed as a drinks franchise but does not employ a conventional franchise model, so there aren’t any standard Coca-Cola franchise opportunities. Instead, it employs a franchise as a product distribution system, with a supplier-dealer relationship. This system was first used in 1889, when Coca-Cola granted other businesses the right to bottle its drinks so it could rapidly expand the brand.

These other businesses manufacture, package and sell products under Coca-Cola’s trademark, trade name and logo to consumers and other distributors, such as supermarkets, cinemas and amusement parks. This structure is slightly different from a traditional supplier-dealer relationship, as Coca-Cola partners can only sell Coca-Cola products, while the typical dealer might stock a range of similar items.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola takes care of all its marketing campaigns, promoting its products across the world. This system is beneficial both for Coca-Cola, which can eliminate manufacturing, packaging, storage and distribution costs, and for businesses, which profit from the sales of an immensely popular drink.

A popular product Coca-Cola sells 1.9 billion drinks every single day.

In 2006, Coca-Cola further developed its franchise structure, uniting its company-owned bottling plants to create the Bottling Investments Group (BIG). These factories are largely located in India and Southeast Asia, far from the brand’s origins in the US.

As you can see, Coca-Cola is a truly global brand, and the figures surrounding Coca-Cola consumption demonstrate this. In 2012,it tried to find the country with the highest annual consumption of Coca-Cola products per capita, measured in eight-fluid-ounce drinks. This turned out to be Mexico, with 745, compared to 401 in the US and 200 in the UK.

This unconventional franchise arrangement has worked well for Coca-Cola, which has created a network of over 275 bottling partners who work across more than 900 bottling plants worldwide.

How to get involved with Coca-Cola

If you have the right resources, you could become a Coca-Cola distributor. It’s hard to say how much this would cost, as this would depend on the location and size of your bottling plant and the number of workers employed there.

Also, if you’d like to establish a partnership with Coca-Cola, one of the biggest drinks manufacturers on the planet, you’ll need to have a positive reputation. The company will not be keen to form an alliance with a business that has not been able to uphold professional and ethical standards in the past.

If you think you have the capital and/or facilities to get involved with Coca-Cola, you could become one of the brand’s European partners. This is a group of 23,500 workers across 13 countries that sells soft drinks to 300 million consumers. The first step is to enquire about current opportunities by contacting the company’s CEO Damian Gammell or Chairman Sol Daurella by emailing connect@ccep.com.

Similar franchise opportunities

Because Coca-Cola offers such a unique franchise opportunity, it’s hard to find any similar alternatives – but you may be interested in joining a business selling other drinks or snacks. Here is some more information about Mooboo bubble tea, Dunkin’ Donuts and Tubz vending machines.

Dunkin’ Donuts

There are over 11,000 Dunkin’ Donuts locations spread across 31 countries, serving more than five million customers every single day. In fact, the franchise sells an average of over 30 cups of coffee every second. It’s also accumulated almost 70 years of experience in the food and drink industry, and is famous among coffee – and doughnut – lovers worldwide.

  • Becoming a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee: This doughnut franchise is looking for entrepreneurs who are prepared to open at least 20 outlets within a given period. If you think you’re the person for the job, why not get in touch? To learn more and sign up, click here.
     
  • How much you need to invest: This is a big brand, so you’ll need to have at least £3 million to invest.
     
  • What you get for your investment: It goes without saying that you’ll benefit from high brand recognition and a ready-made customer base. It’s likely that, wherever you set up shop, you’ll find plenty of hungry customers eager to dunk their doughnuts. This franchise also provides its franchisees with world-class tools and resources to make sure all franchise units are profitable.

Mooboo

Founded in 2012, Mooboo is a leading bubble tea brand, offering a range of more than 70 different-flavoured teas, including savoury teas, fruit teas, milk teas, fresh teas and mocktails. With an average turnover of £79,000 and a social media following of more than 27,500, Mooboo is an up-and-coming brand that caters for every taste. As well as serving fruit and milk variations of bubble tea, the brand also has a range of blended ice ‘smoothies’ in exotic flavours, including lychee, matcha, coconut and taro.

  • Becoming a Mooboo franchisee: Mooboo is offering you the chance to invest in the UK’s growing bubble tea trend, which, if taken advantage of, could yield great results. A lease contract of at least 15 years will be renewable after approval, and, if the brand model is adhered to, franchisees can rely on an approximate yearly income of £79,000.
  • How much you need to invest: Franchisees will need to initially invest at least £39,950, which covers franchisee fees, license fees, start-up costs and inventory, as well as a yearly fee of £30,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Those who invest will benefit from an extensive training programme, which provides further insight into product knowledge, business operations, marketing and IT.

Tubz

If you want to indirectly sell Coca-Cola products, you could join vending machine franchise Tubz. This business sets up tower vending machines across Europe and has a network of more than 300 franchisees. Investors set up their vending towers in high-footfall locations and reap the profits. And if the chosen sites prove not to be profitable, you can just move them to a new spot!

  • Becoming a Tubz franchisee: Investors have the flexibility to run the franchise in the way that best suits them, so you can operate it from home as a part or full-time business, depending on your preference. To learn more and sign up, click here.
     
  • How much you need to invest: This is a low-cost franchise opportunity; you’ll only need to make a total investment of £3,295.
     
  • What you get for your investment: There are no management, monthly or annual fees when you become a Tubz franchisee. You’ll get full training and ongoing support, a two-year guarantee on all new equipment and branded product stickers and uniforms. The franchise package also includes stock from popular brands like Pringles, as well as the opportunity to introduce a nutritious snack tower for the growing number of health-conscious consumers.

Joining the franchise industry

If you’re interested in running your own business as a franchisee, joining the drinks and snacks sector could yield great results. As on-the-go snacking culture gains popularity, consumers are buying tasty treats more often and diverse businesses are springing up across the UK. This means there are plenty of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to make a profit. Whether you offer indulgent doughnuts, trendy bubble tea or a range of drinks and snacks in a vending machine, you have the chance to set up a highly lucrative business.

To browse our selection of top-performing food and drinks franchises, click here.

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