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Coca-Cola Franchisee Counteracts Declining Soda Sales & Climbing Taxes to Prosper

It would seem that Coca-Cola franchisees are facing a discouraging sales environment. Carbonated drinks sales have declined for 12 straight years. The public is constantly being warned that the drinks are unhealthy and make them fat. Local governments are levying heavy taxes on sugary drinks to deliberately hinder sales, their officials say.

But Utah-based Swire Coca-Cola, USA is expanding.

CEO Jack Pelo sees the same numbers that industry analysts like Beverage Digest have reported for years. Nationwide sales of soda have fallen annually since 2004. Overall soda sales are down 25 percent in the past 20 years. Per-capita carbonated-beverage consumption is at its lowest point since Beverage Digest began tracking consumer activities in 1985.

But Pelo also sees a new way forward, namely through the water, natural-soda and other healthier-alternative products that Coca Cola has been purchasing in recent years. — Ed Sealover, Denver Business Journal

Pelo reasons that humans aren't going to cut down on guzzling down liquids, and it's his job and those of others in his company to figure out the right ones and the right sizes.

Swire Coca-Cola operates in 13 western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The company recently acquired the Coca-Cola Production Center in Tempe, Arizona, its fifth production facility, commencing operations on August 25. The Tempe acquisition is one of the largest manufacturers of Coca-Cola products in the United States. The plant operates multiple production lines and manufactures almost 40 million cases of beverages annually. The purchase was part of the Coca-Cola Company's refranchising process.

Swire Coca-Cola's parent company, Swire Pacific, is a huge international conglomerate that had its beginning when John Swire founded an import-export business in 1816 in Liverpool, UK. Now it operates businesses around the world, such as Cathay Pacific and other aviation-related companies, commercial properties, marine services, and trading and industrial enterprises.

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