Why are there local Coca-Cola bottlers

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This content was published on January 25, 2019 - 13:54 (Keystone-SDA)

In Switzerland, Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite will no longer be available in half-liter and liter bottles. The bottling company Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland is reducing the bottle sizes from April

In future, the half-liter bottle will only hold 0.45 liters, while the liter bottle will become a 0.75-liter format. Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland confirmed the plans to the AWP news agency on Friday, which the Tamedia newspapers reported on that morning.

According to the newspaper report, the bottle sizes are shrinking, but the price remains - so there is a price increase. Coca-Cola does not confirm this directly, however, but evades: They continue to offer competitive prices, it said.

Reference to local costs

The bottling company is also only vague about the reasons: Coca-Cola HBC is constantly adapting its packaging and always offers a selection of different sizes. "At the same time, we see a trend towards small packaging sizes".

At the same time, the beverage bottler refers to the costs: "As a Swiss company with two local locations, around 800 employees and regional raw material and transport partners, we have to cope with the local costs, which have been consistently high over the past few years." Coca-Cola HBC is committed to Switzerland as a location.

Retailers are keeping a low profile

It is still unclear whether consumers will get less Coke and Fanta for the same money in the future. Upon request, Migros confirmed that Coca-Cola had informed it of the intended change. "We are currently examining this in relation to our future range design," wrote a spokeswoman. However, she cannot currently provide any further information.

It sounds similar with Denner, Coop and Aldi Suisse: According to their spokesmen, they are in talks with Coca-Cola. Aldi and Lidl emphasized that customers can rely on the fact that they will always be offered the best price-performance ratio. This also applies to branded goods, wrote Aldi. With these, the discounter also generally checks the option of gray imports.

Repeated price conflicts

In several cases, Swiss retailers have imported Coca-Cola drinks from abroad instead of purchasing them from Coca-Cola HBC in order to get lower prices. Like the Landi or Denner.

A few years ago the Federal Competition Commission Weko initiated a preliminary investigation against Coca-Cola at Denner's instigation. She wanted to check whether Coca-Cola Switzerland had made agreements with other national companies to prevent parallel imports.

However, after the conflict between Coca-Cola and Denner had been resolved, the competition authorities stopped their investigation in 2015. The sweet drink became cheaper across the board as a result of the conflict.

There are also constant conflicts over prices between other branded goods manufacturers and retailers. A popular weapon used by stores in this dispute is to get products off the shelves. Coop, in particular, as the largest seller of branded goods, has repeatedly resorted to this method.

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