Orlando Rodriguez, Managing Director – Australia, discusses Coca-Cola Europacific Partners’ unrivalled Australian network distribution, its sustainability goals, and its excitement for potential future growth in the alcohol category.
“Our ambition is to refresh Australia and make a difference, through our beverages, service and people, all done sustainably.
As we look to turn the page on the calendar year, I find myself reflecting on another remarkable year and am incredibly proud of the Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australian business and the value we’ve been able to offer both customers and consumers through our great brands, great people, delivering great service done sustainably.
This year, Australia, like the rest of the word, emerged from the shadow of COVID-19, with a renewed sense of resilience and adaptability, as consumers eagerly returned to bars and venues, reflecting a sector poised for a vibrant future.
At CCEP, we’re proud to be in a unique position to provide customers with a beverage for every occasion, from soft drinks to alcohol, increasing choices and creating added value for our customers. Within the licensed industry we’ve seen a number of exciting trends emerge including the significant growth of the ready-to-drink (RTD) category, increased consumer demand for innovation and the continued appetite for premiumisation.
Together with our brand partners and customers, we’ve been able to deliver significant value across these growth areas including innovation with the RTD brand -196 – with an exciting new flavour coming soon – the rising popularity of Asian-inspired spirits like Japanese Whisky and our much-loved Big Brands like Jim Beam and Canadian Club that we’ve seen customers return to through challenging times.
This has been recognised in the industry and the team have taken home some outstanding awards, including being recognised as the number two Spirit Supplier from the Advantage Survey, a well-respected report providing key insights into how retailers view the relationship with their supplier partners, as well as taking out the number one spot for Product Innovation in Endeavour with -196 and being named Supplier of the Year at the Thirsty Camel Awards.
Halfway through the year Australia came out in force to host and support the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and through our global partnership we delivered a host of promotions and activations across with some of our key non-alcoholic drinks like Coca-Cola and Sprite. We’re extremely proud to be able to deliver unique offers and we know from category insights, this drives sales. In 2023 the team delivered six national promotions alongside numerous customer specific or state specific bespoke promotions, which provided added value to consumers and we have exciting plans to elevate our global Olympics partnership next year as part of our suite of national promotions.
We’re also driving formative change across the industry and to be delivering on our ‘This is Forward’ sustainability commitments. We’ve achieved some incredible milestones, focused on reducing energy and driving recycling to keep packaging waste out of the environment including upgrading our post-mix machines on premise as we supercharge our efforts to achieve net zero direct carbon emission by 2040. This is just one example of our sustainability journey, we appreciate there is more to do and we’re committed to continuing to work with our customers and key stakeholders to make a positive difference and build a sustainable future.
Looking ahead, I’m excited by the potential growth opportunities for CCEP in the alcohol category, particularly spirits and RTD, while we continue to execute our growth plans for soft drinks and our broader non-alcohol portfolio. The diversity of our portfolio allows us to provide unmatched benefits to our customers and I’m confident we have the brands, partnerships and people, combined with CCEP’s experience in manufacturing, vast relationship service and our deep consumer and customer knowledge, to set up CCEP for continued success, in a responsible and sustainable way.
If you’re interested in learning more about our unique offerings and how we’ll be offering our customers and consumers even more choices, please reach out to the team or keep an out for more news in the near future.
Our success is built on great people, great service and great beverages, done sustainably. We combine the strength and scale of a large, multinational business with an expert local knowledge of the customers we serve and the communities we support.
At Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australia, we create long-term sustainable value by making, selling and distributing the world’s most loved drinks and striving to deliver excellent service to our customers. Our success is driven by our culture and the passion and commitment of our employees.
We employ approximately 3,600 people and serve around 100,000 customers across Australia. Our unrivalled distribution network reaches over 90% of postcodes across the country, so every Aussie can continue to enjoy their favourite beverages. Together, our shared passion, local knowledge, and access to global networks, allows us to deliver exceptional service to our customers, and the communities we operate in.
Headquartered in Sydney and with bottling and/or distribution facilities in every state and territory in Australia, CCEP has a large network and sales capability. We operate nine production facilities and eleven warehouses across Australia. We have a premium portfolio of non-alcoholic and alcohol beverage brands and are proud to offer consumers a complete choice of drinks, for every occasion.
We’re committed to building a more sustainable future and are aiming to grow our business in a way that manages our social and environmental impacts responsibly. We’re taking action in areas where we know we have significant impact, and which our stakeholders want us to prioritise, including sustainable packaging, consumer wellbeing, energy and climate, and water stewardship. 7 out of 10 of our plastic bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic and we’re targeting 100% renewable electricity in Australia by 2024. Our investment in two PET recycling plants, through the Circular Plastic Australia (PET) join venture, will have the capacity to recycle the equivalent of 2 billion PET bottles a year once fully operational.
In addition to this, CCEP has directly invested in establishing and operating Container Deposit Schemes (CDS) with state governments and our beverage partners across Australia. CDS offer a highly effective solution to plastic recycling, compared to kerbside recycling. These two initiatives will help us make significant progress toward driving a circular economy for beverage packaging in Australia. Since 2002, the Coca-Cola Foundation, CCEP’s philanthropic arm, has donated $17m to a range of charities.
Inclusion, diversity and equity sits at the heart of our people strategy. We are fostering a culture where everyone’s welcome to be themselves, be valued and belong. Our business thrives on the diversity that comes from all our people and a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds. We have in-house Diversity committees, Pride@CCEP and Mob & Mates designed to celebrate and drive understanding of LGBTQ+, indigenous and under-represented ethnic groups across the business.
As well as this, these groups help to ensure that our policies and processes allow everyone to feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. In recognition of our LGBTQ+ efforts, we are now a proud Pride in Diversity member, Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion. Through our membership we will have access to training and consulting services including LGBTQ+ awareness, ally training, policy review and strategy for inclusion.”