New Products and New Markets in the 1990s
PowerAde, Dasani bottled water, and Fruitopia were introduced by the Coca-Cola Company in the 1990s. Political and economic changes opened vast markets that were closed or underdeveloped for decades. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Coca-Cola Company invested heavily to build plants in Eastern Europe. New markets opened up as Coca-Cola products were sold in East Germany in 1990 and returned to India in 1993. As the century closed, more that $1.5 billion was committed to new bottling facilities in Africa.
By 1997, the company had already sold 1 billion servings of its products every day.
A New Bottle with an Iconic Look
In 1994 A PET polyethylene terephthaiate version of contour bottles was introduced in the 20 oz. size.
Coca-Cola and Sports
The 1990s were a time of continued growth for the Coca-Cola Company. The company’s long association with sports was strengthened during this decade, with ongoing support of the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup football (Soccer), Rugby World Cup and the National Basketball Association. Coca-Cola Classic became the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR racing, connecting the brand with one of the world’s fastest growing and most popular spectator sports.
New Ads Become Instant Classics
1993 saw the introduction of the popular “Always Coca-Cola” advertising campaign and the world met the lovable Coca-Cola Polar Bear for the first time.
A Shift from Production to Sales
The June 3, 1994 issue of Rock Hill’s The Herald reported that Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company ceased its local production line in May in favor of having its products produced at South Atlantic Canners, a co-op it helped to form. Fred Faircloth, III, manager of the bottling plant, said that the Coca-Cola companies involved in the Co-op have spent $14 million to begin two new production lines at the South Atlantic Canners Inc. in Bishopville. He estimated about 40 percent of the products sold in York County was manufactured at the Rock Hill plant before production halted May 1, 1994. Canning lines were more expensive to run, so bottlers had to pool resources to get a lower cost. The Co-op, which will double its work force with the expansion, is made up of bottlers from North and South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. The number one thing it will give the bottling company is cost effective packages. “We’ll be able to concentrate on selling and won’t have to spend time on the production.”
Relay Race Sponsorship
In 1996, the company organized and sponsored the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay in Rock Hill. Again in 2000, the relay was sponsored by Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The relays provided citizens of Rock Hill and York County opportunities to participate in the exciting tradition of the Olympics. It was an honor to be selected to escort the runners through the streets of Rock Hill.