Coke vending machines to accept Bitcoin

Centrapay, the digital asset integrator, has signed agreements with Coca-Cola Amatil (Amatil) in Australia and New Zealand to give thirsty antipodeans the option to use their Sylo Smart Wallet to pay for items across Amatil’s vending network using cryptocurrency.

Centrapay’s world class technology makes it easy for consumers, merchants and machines to leverage digital assets in the physical world. Its platform is designed to help brands connect directly with individuals and increase revenue and operational efficiency for merchants.

Transacting with digital assets also reduces how much people need to touch the vending machine, a major concern during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coca-Cola Amatil supports 140 brands and 270 million consumers. Amatil’s customers can use their Sylo Smart Wallet at any one of Coca-Cola’s 2000+ vending machines with a QR code payment sticker. These are located across New Zealand and Australia and will accept payments in cryptocurrency or other digital assets with a scan of your phone’s camera when Sylo Smart Wallet is installed. People only need to touch the vending machine once to take their purchase.

Centrapay CEO, Jerome Faury, says that integration complexity and poor user experiences are barriers to adoption of Web 3 technology, such as digital identity and assets.

“We have solved both these issues. Centrapay is pioneering the way to enable this new internet of value and bring its benefits to both consumers and merchants,” he says.

“And it comes with the added benefit of reducing physical contact and addressing the hygiene concerns we’ve all become acutely aware of due to COVID-19.

“At Centrapay, we’re working to create a future where individuals are in control of their own data and digital identity. Brands can connect directly and ethically with people, empowering them to make the right purchasing decision, whilst also supporting their retail and other distribution partners,” said Faury.

“Now we’ve shown how it can work in Australia and New Zealand, we’re looking to grow the business globally. We’ve established a presence in North America and will be targeting the US market next with some world-first innovations.”

Coke funds initiative to tackle marine pollution

The Coca-Cola Australia Foundation is inviting environmental organisations to apply for a new grant focussed on tackling the issue of marine pollution in Australia.

Submissions will be open from 19 to 30 August with the successful organisation receiving up to $600,000 over a three-year period.

Funding is available to organisations that are working on solutions to tackle the issue of marine pollution in Australian coastal and inland waterways. This reflects the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation’s new mission to create possibilities for a brighter, more sustainable future for Australians today and for generations to come.

Christine Black, Coca-Cola Australia Foundation Board Member and Director of Sustainability at Coca-Cola Australia, said: “Coca-Cola in Australia is committed to keeping plastic from ending up in the ocean or landfill.

“We recognise no one organisation can solve the issue of marine pollution alone. We’re working with many partners locally and globally to help achieve our vision of creating a world without waste.

“We are pleased to announce that the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation’s new mission is focussed on creating a sustainable future for all Australians and we look forward to supporting a new flagship partner.”

As part of its World Without Waste vision, Coca-Cola aims to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can the company sells globally by 2030; ensuring they do not end up in waterways or landfill. This is supported by the company’s commitment to sustainable packaging, with 70 per cent of its plastic bottles in Australia to be made entirely from recycled plastic by the end of 2019.

This new grant is part of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation’s Flagship round of funding and is in addition to the 2019 Employee Connected Grants Program. A total of 31 Australian charities are set to receive a share of $700,000 this year, nominated by Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil employees. This will bring the Foundation’s total number of funds donated via its charity grant programs since 2002 to over $15 million.

Coca-Cola sells iconic SPC brand

Coca-Cola Amatil has announced that the SPC fruit and vegetable processing business (SPC) would be sold to Shepparton Partners Collective and its group of companies (Shepparton Partners Collective) for consideration of $40 million payable at completion.

Taking into account forecasted working capital balances, working capital adjustments to the sale price and costs of disposal, a profit on sale of $10-15 million is expected to be recorded upon completion. Both parties are targeting a completion date before the end of June.

The sale agreement also includes a four-year deferred payment which, subject to business performance, could result in up to an additional $15 million of sale proceeds at that time. Due to the realisation of recognised deferred tax assets, Amatil’s ability to frank dividends will be impacted in the short to medium term. The sale concludes a review and divestment process commenced in August 2018, with the new owners committing to grow the Goulburn Valley-based business and offering employment to all permanent staff.

Group managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil, Alison Watkins, said Shepparton Partners Collective had the right combination of commercial experience, funding support and confidence in the future of SPC.

“This outcome is good news for SPC and good news for the Goulburn Valley,” Watkins said. Watkins said there was strong domestic and international interest during the divestment process, reflecting SPC’s iconic status and the transformation of its manufacturing capacity following a $100 million co-investment between Amatil and the Victorian Government.

“Shepparton Partners Collective recognises the value of SPC’s brands, the opportunities for innovation and category growth in Australia, and its export potential,” Watkins said. “Importantly, they’re also committed to offering ongoing employment to all permanent members of the SPC team.

“This ensures continued access to the world-class capability and experience in fruit and vegetable processing which is brought to the company by SPC managing director Reg Weine and his team.

“On behalf of Amatil, I thank everyone at SPC for their commitment to the business. The combination of Shepparton Partners Collective, Reg and the team ensures SPC is in safe hands.”

Weine welcomed the outcome as an opportunity for SPC to continue its transformation and pursue new opportunities in domestic and international markets.

“In recent years we’ve grown our market share in tomatoes and we recently launched Australia’s first organic canned tomato. Our award-winning functional food range – ProVital continues to grow and gain support with dieticians and our enhanced processing and automation capability has opened up new export markets,” Mr Weine said. “We’re proud of those achievements and we’re confident we can do more.”

Coke joins BCSD Australia

Coca-Cola Amatil has been announced as the newest member of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (BCSD Australia).

With approximately 12,000 employees across the Asia-Pacific region and some of Australia’s most recognisable brands including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Barista Bros, Mount Franklin, Neverfail, Grinders Coffee and Yenda, Coca-Cola Amatil is a leading name in the Australian beverage industry, and one with a growing commitment to sustainability.

With a sustainability framework being embedded in the organisation, Coca-Cola Amatil regularly reports on environmental performance and has set sustainability goals to achieve by 2020. These include maximising recycling, acting on climate change and reducing the use of both sugar and unrecycled plastics across the product range.

In April 2019 the company announced that seven out of 10 of its plastic bottles would be made from 100 per cent recycled plastic by 2020. This follows the elimination of plastic straws and stirrers from February 2019, and a partnership with Keep Australia Beautiful to promote recycling options nationwide.

Andrew Petersen, CEO of BCSD Australia, welcomed Coca-Cola Amatil’s membership as a demonstration of its commitment to sustainability: “BCSD Australia’s membership continues to grow with corporations and organisations from across Australia that are committed to driving a transition to a sustainable world,” said Mr Petersen. “Coca-Cola Amatil’s membership of BCSD Australia is recognition of the progress made in the sustainability of its operations and its commitment to continual improvement on this front. We look forward to its participation as a active, collaborative member of BCSD Australia.”

Alison Watkins, group managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil, said BCSD Australia membership would help the Amatil team meet their sustainability strategies and achieve long-term goals for packaging neutrality. “We’ve heard the message loud and clear, that unnecessary packaging is unacceptable, and we need to do our part by continuing the switch to recycled materials,” Watkins said.

“We also recognise the need to act on climate change and will source 60 per cent of our energy from low-carbon and renewables by next year. “That’s good news, but there’s more to be done. BCSD Australia membership is a step forward in delivering sustainability goals. We look forward to the opportunity to get involved.”

Coca-Cola Amatil to sell SPC

Coca-Cola Amatil will sell its fruit and vegetable processing business, SPC, which is expected to record a $10 million loss for the 2017-18 financial year.

The beverage company’s decision to sell SPC comes four years after the Victorian government and Coca-Cola Amatil co-invested $100 million ($78 and $22 million respectively) to help the struggling business.

Coca-Cola Amatil initiated a strategic review into SPC in August. The company’s group managing director, Alison Watkins, said that while there were no plans to close SPC, the review had concluded that selling the Shepparton-based firm would provide the best means of enabling it to grow in the future.

“We believe there are many opportunities for growth in SPC, including new products and markets, further efficiency improvements, and leveraging technology and intellectual property,” Watkins said.

“The review has concluded that the best way to unlock these opportunities is through divestment, enabling SPC to maximise its potential with the benefit of the recent $100 million co-investment, while Amatil sharpens its focus as a beverages powerhouse.”

Watkins said that while SPC production would for now continue as normal at Shepparton and Kyabram, Coca-Cola Amantil would develop a divestment timeline and process over the coming months.

Watkins also indicated that Coca Cola Amatil has decided that the IXL and Taylor’s brands will remain with SPC following the announcement on 21 November that an expected sale to Kyabram Conserves will no longer proceed.

Coca Cola Amatil has invested approximately $250 million into SPC since acquiring it in 2005, including in new tomato and high-speed snack lines, a new aseptic fruit processing system and new export opportunities including in China.

Watkins said that Coca-Cola Amatil expects its 2017-18 full-year results will weighed down by $50 million in expenses due to “cost optimisation programs” and that the company would possibly be unable to meet earnings growth target in the 2018-19 financial year due to factors that include the impacts of container deposit schemes in Australia, higher PET resin costs and a weak Indonesian rupiah.

Watkins said that SPC’s $10 million loss was “modest” and “not a big deal” in the  long-run.

“The challenge for the business is top-line growth, but the core structure of the business now is very good. So what will move that loss to a profit is growth, and that’s what the business is poised to do,” Watkins said.

“We really see a very bright future as a result of the investment we’ve made.”

Coca-Cola Amatil partners with three Australian start-ups

Coca-Cola Amatil has partnered with three Australian start-ups that have ‘ready-to-go’ ideas to improve delivery efficiency and consumer experience in the Australian market.

Amatil group director of partners, Chris Sullivan, said pilots had been agreed with Bellr, Snooper and Staybil as part of the second phase of the company’s Xcelerate program, designed to test whether combining emerging businesses with Amatil’s established customer base and supply chain footprint would deliver shared value.

“Xcelerate is a great opportunity for us to support the start-up and scale-up sectors and help grow Australia and New Zealand’s community of ideas,” said Sullivan.

“We look for the best and brightest new talent in the areas of sustainable futures, customer experience and route-to-market.

READ: Coca-Cola Amatil launches new bottling line in Fiji

“We then work together to build or grow their concepts into outcomes which delight our shared customers and deliver timely, creative solutions for business.

“Working with Bellr, Snooper and Staybil offers them the chance to pilot products and services in conjunction with an established business. And it gives us the opportunity to test ourselves on how we engage with the start-up community to quickly test new solutions,” said Sullivan.

Xcelerate is one pillar of Coca-Cola Amatil’s corporate venturing platform, Amatil X, which was created in partnership with technology firm BlueChilli, to identify the best ideas to support our business of today and grow our business of tomorrow.

As part of the program, scale-ups receive access to mentoring, a commercial partnership, and Coca-Cola Amatil’s new small supplier payment policy, which is designed to ensure that small suppliers are not disadvantaged from longer payment terms.

Laurie Wespes, founder at Snooper, said through the collaboration the companies are building a platform that will help the FMCG ecosystem improve in-store execution and deliver better shopper experiences in Australia and beyond.

“In only a couple of weeks, Amatil has scaled our solution across five product areas with some of our missions already delivering a 100 x return on investment,” said Wespes.

The three companies joining the Xcelerate program are:

Bellr – a platform for the hospitality industry which help venues and brands attract and retain customers through dynamic venue promotions and tailored loyalty programs, leveraging the emerging trend towards an on-demand cashless economy and increasing use of mobile devices.

Snooper – a crowdsourcing platform for brands and retailers, leveraging a community of 35,000 everyday Australians to collect in-store data and share their experience with brands in real-time via our app.

Staybil – drives operational efficiency by leveraging the combined power of machine learning and enhanced modern mobility. Staybil’s optimisation engine utilises existing but often underutilised enterprise data to drive improvement, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce costs.

Coca-Cola Amatil launches new bottling line in Fiji

Coca-Cola Amatil has launched the latest bottling technology in its facility in Fiji at Laucala Beach Estate.

The installation of Krones Blowfill technology, which is made in Germany, brings Coca-Cola Amatil Fiji into line with the latest equipment used in New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia.

The new Fiji line is capable of producing 21,000 bottles per hour.

Coca-Cola Amatil Fiji managing director, Roger Hare, said he was excited at what the new line meant for local production.

READ: Coca-Cola Amatil backs restaurant tech company

“This has been a few years in the planning and I’m ecstatic that we are now up and running.

“The installation of the Krones equipment began in September 2016 and our people have worked tirelessly to ensure we would be ready to launch today, I’m very proud and grateful for all their efforts,” said Hare.

“The new line has triple the capacity of the current line and not only supports future growth for the next 10 years but enables the Coca-Cola Amatil Fiji business to embark on a significant export led growth strategy, over the next 5-8-years.

“We realised further investment into the Amatil Fiji business was necessary and I have to thank the Amatil Group leadership team for their incredible support,” he said.

As world leaders in beverage process technology, the Krones AG Group was commissioned for the manufacture and installation of Fiji’s favourite carbonated and non-carbonated beverage products.

The sizes will range from 500ml to 2.25L beverages and will also include water.

Of the investment for line construction, $6.5m was made via local purchasing and contractors.

Coca-Cola Amatil is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of ready-to-drink non-alcohol and alcohol beverages, coffee and ready-to-eat food snacks in the Asia Pacific region.

The company is also the authorised manufacturer and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company’s beverage brands in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

Coca-Cola Amatil employs about 13,000 people.


Coca-Cola Amatil backs restaurant tech company

Coca-Cola Amatil has taken a minority stake in Singapore-based restaurant tech start-up, TabSquare via its corporate venturing platform, Amatil X.

TabSquare provides artificial intelligence-powered smart in-restaurant solutions to improve the restaurant experience for diners and improve operational efficiency for restaurant owners.

It is the second investment made by Amatil X since its launch in April as it follows an investment in Australian start-up Doshii in August.

Amatil X group director partners and growth, Chris Sullivan, said Amatil X was set up to enable Coca-Cola Amatil to leverage start-ups to support the existing businesses and to explore future growth opportunities.

READ: Made Group sells minority interest to Coca-Cola in Australia

“This includes investing in restaurant tech companies like TabSquare which has developed a solution to benefit restaurants and their customers by using technology to streamline and personalise the dining experience,” said Sullivan.

Amatil X was introduced to TabSquare by an employee participating in Coca-Cola Amatil’s corporate accelerator program, Xcelerate.

“Our employee’s startup idea was very similar to TabSquare, so they decided to explore TabSquare rather than reinvent the wheel.

“We were impressed by the solution that TabSquare was promoting which has led us to invest in them. They have a strong team, a clear business model and ambitious growth plans, which include expanding from their established Singapore base to the whole of the Asia Pacific region,” said Sullivan.

TabSquare co-founder Chirag Tejuja said TabSquare offered a full suite of solutions for any type of in-restaurant dining.

“Our technology can personalise the entire dining experience for each customer, treating them uniquely, at scale.

“We have 6000 active terminals in market, serving 12 million diners annually. We are collecting rich customer data at every interaction, allowing the restaurant to provide a unique and personalised dining experience,” said Tejuja.

“There is a huge market opportunity for TabSquare in this region,” he said. “The addressable market is more than $1 billion in South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand alone.

“We already have an existing customer base in most target markets and will rapidly grow our footprint in the region with the current round of investment funding,” said Tejuja.

Made Group sells minority interest to Coca-Cola in Australia

Australian beverages manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil and The Coca-Cola Company acquired 45 per cent minority interest in Australia-based Made Group.

The acquisition of the company, which provides cold-pressed juices, high-protein smoothies, probiotic milk, yoghurts and coconut water, was announced on the 4th of October.

Made Group is known for Australian beverage brands including Cocobella, Rokeby Farms, Impressed and the company’s first brand, NutrientWater, which was launched in 2005.

Through this partnership, Made Group will continue operating independently, while being supported by Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil to grow market reach and distribution.

READ: Coca-Cola Amatil opens largest Australian facility in Queensland

Coca-Cola Amatil group managing director Alison Watkins said the company’s aim is to bring the Made range of products to an even wider audience through Coca-Cola’s expertise and reach in distribution.

“There’ll be no changes to the flavours or ingredients. Made Group co-founders Luke Marget and Matt Dennis will stay on in charge of the business and keep doing what they love – developing and producing a fantastic food and beverage range,” said Watkins.

The investment is an important link in the Accelerated Australian Growth Plan for Coca-Cola Amatil and Coca-Cola Australia, which aims to bolster performance in attractive growth categories, embrace innovation and explore mergers or acquisitions where they fit with the existing portfolio, said Watkins.

Made Group co-founder Matt Dennis said the investment was a significant milestone in the company’s 13-year history.

“We are extremely pleased to have such experienced partners in helping unlock scale and growth, while we continue to focus on product innovation to match emerging consumer trends,” said Dennis.

“Our focus on improving the everyday lives of Australians aligns perfectly with Coca Cola’s strategy of becoming a total beverage company.

“To help us accelerate this vision there are currently plans underway to significantly expand our manufacturing footprint in Melbourne with a new 30,000 sqm state-of-the-art production facility in the final stages of development,” he said.

“The winning partnership between the world’s leading non-alcoholic beverage enterprise and Australia’s most entrepreneurial beverage company is made for success,” said Dennis.

Coca-Cola Australia president, Vamsi Mohan, said the investment is yet another example of how Coca-Cola is transforming into a total beverage company.

“We are always looking to offer the new beverages that Australians want,” he said.

“Globally Coca-Cola has shown that we can build successful new brands through both acquisition and our long history of innovation. This investment is a perfect example of our desire to keep doing this in Australia,” said Mohan.

“The Made Group’s capability in agile innovation across its range, which includes premium juices, dairy and coconut water, is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio and growth plans and will help us ensure we provide Australians with beverages for all occasions,” he said.


Coca-Cola Amatil opens largest Australian facility in Queensland

Coca-Cola Amatil has opened a new bottling and warehouse facility, which is now the company’s largest plant in Australia.

The facility, in Richlands, Queensland, was officially opened on the 2nd of October by Queensland’s premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The facility supports hundreds of jobs and it is capable of manufacturing more than 90 million unit cases of drinks for national and export markets each year.

“Queensland has gained an international reputation as a great place to do business which is why Coca-Cola Amatil has developed this $165 million vote of confidence in Queensland,” said Palaszczuk.

Coca-Cola celebrates 80 years made in Australia

“Queensland has low operating costs, a skilled and adaptable workforce, the lowest payroll tax in the nation, generous research and development incentives, excellent transport infrastructure close to Asia and other export links, and a dynamic and stable economy which is expected to reach three per cent growth this financial year.

“The manufacturing giants such as Coca-Cola Amatil are recognising all that’s great about Queensland and are attracted by what my Government is delivering to develop opportunities and grow the economy,” said Palaszczuk.

Coca-Cola Amatil group managing director, Alison Watkins, said the company was proud to be a local manufacturer, and to have headquartered so much of its production in the new facility in Richlands.

“This site is the product of a nationwide search for the best possible location to grow our business,” she said.

“Of all the sites we looked at, Richlands offered the strongest combination of road and port access, efficiency in production, access to east-coast markets and room to grow.

“We also had great engagement with the Queensland Government, which was keen to support manufacturing investment and jobs,” said Watkins.

Coca-Cola Amatil is also partnering with beverage manufacturer Lion to help deliver Queensland’s first container refund scheme.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the scheme, known as Containers for Change, will help reduce waste, increase recycling, and create funding and employment opportunities.

“We are proud to have Coca-Cola Amatil on board with Lion to help drive the success of Containers for Change,” said Enoch.

The scheme begins on the 1st of November.

Coca-Cola celebrates 80 years made in Australia

It’s been 80 years since the first Coke bottle rolled off the lines in Australia.

Coca-Cola has grown from one famous drink, four trucks and 10 people, to more than 165 drinks and a network of thousands of employees across the country.

Coca-Cola was invented by Dr. John Pemberton in 1886 in Atlanta USA and first began arriving to Australia in the early 1900s before production began locally.

The first Australian-made bottle of Coca-Cola rolled off the bottling lines in 1938 in a small building on the corner of Crescent and Dowling Streets in Waterloo, Sydney.

READ: Coca-Cola Amatil’s half-year results show ‘encouraging signs’ in Australian Beverages

Coca-Cola Australia’s Christine Black said the 80-year anniversary was a good opportunity to break the myth that the drinks are shipped all the way from the US.

“Coca-Cola has long been a part of the fabric of Australian culture and community – from the yo-yo craze of the 60s and 70s, the surfabout competitions of the 80s, sponsorship of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, our backing of the NRL and AFL and more recently, our proud support for marriage equality with limited-edition ‘Love’ cans,” said Black.

As Australians’ taste has changed over the years, the company has evolved with them.

This evolution can be seen in the expansion of Coca-Cola’s range over the years, from the launch of Fanta in 1955, Diet Coke in 1983 and Coke No Sugar in 2017.

Australians have also often been the first in the world to taste the newest flavours including Coke Ginger, Coke Coffee No Sugar and Coke Orange No Sugar.

Many of the brands produced locally by Coca-Cola have remained popular with Australians for decades including Sprite, Fanta, and Lift.

Others such as Mello Yello, launched in 1979 and TaB, launched in 1963, are part of the company’s proud history of creating drinks to match the times.

Today Coca-Cola Australia has 165 drinks and 25 brands including Coca-Cola, Mount Franklin, Pump, Keri juice and Fuze Tea.

Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil employ close to 4,000 employees directly and a further 10,000 in the production and supply chain.

For every direct Australian job created, up to four jobs are indirectly generated across the Australian economy contributing approximately $3.5 billion to the local economy every year.

In partnership with Amatil, Coca-Cola’s products are sold through more than 100,000 retailers generating income and jobs around the country.

Coca-Cola Amatil’s half-year results show ‘encouraging signs’ in Australian Beverages

Coca-Cola Amatil’s half-year results show a strong performance in New Zealand, with the Australian market showing “encouraging signs”.

The half yearly results for 2018, delivered a statutory net profit, after tax, of $158.8 million.

Coca-Cola Amatil group managing director Alison Watkins said the results included an excellent performance in New Zealand and strong performances in Fiji.

There were some encouraging signs in Australian Beverages, with revenue growth and an improving volume trajectory in both sparkling and still beverages, said Watkins.

READ: Adelaide tech startup secures Vonu hospitality deal

“The stabilisation of revenue and volume in Australian beverages is consistent with our plans to reinvest cost savings in 2018, as part of the Accelerated Australian Growth Plan. While there is more to be done, we’re pleased with our progress,” she said.

“In Australian beverages we saw volume growth in low and no sugar cola and an increase in value share driven by the transition to Coca-Cola No Sugar. This was accompanied by volume growth in water as well as in sports drinks,” said Watkins.

“We also delivered strong growth in our double down growth areas of energy, adult sparking and value-added dairy. We’ve seen continued good performance from businesses such as New Zealand, Fiji and alcohol and coffee,” she said.

The Indonesian business transformation strategy had not been sufficient to offset soft market conditions, said Watkins.

The business has continued to invest in manufacturing facilities, cold-drink equipment and the rollout of its route-to-market model.

Papua New Guinea delivered revenue and EBIT growth despite cycling favourable economic conditions from the national election in the first half of 2017 and experiencing some operational issues.

The review of SPC growth options coincides with the completion of a four-year, $100m co-investment in SPC in conjunction with the Victorian Government, which included $22m by the Victorian Government and $78 million by Coca-Cola Amatil.

“We believe there are many opportunities for growth in SPC, including new products and markets, future efficiency improvements, and technology and intellectual property. The review will look at how this growth could be unlocked, potentially through a change in ownership, alliances or mergers,” said Watkins.

“Our outlook is broadly consistent with what we presented previously and we remain committed to our shareholder value proposition,” she said.

New Zealand, Fiji and alcohol and coffee are expected to continue delivering growth in line with Coca-Cola’s shareholder value proposition.

In Australia, the Accelerated Growth plan will see continued investment across marketing, execution, cold drink equipment, technology and price.

“This investment, along with the uncertain impact of container deposit schemes in Australia and soft market conditions in Indonesia, will impact Group near-term earnings,” said Watkins.


Adelaide tech startup secures Vonu hospitality deal

Software developed by a South Australian startup that helps hospitality venue operators engage customers in real time will be rolled out nationally.

Based at the University of Adelaide ThincLab, the startup has raised $160,000 in seed capital to test their mobile platform Bellr.

The app will now be activated in 150 food and beverage businesses across Australia in tandem with the deployment of a VIP loyalty program accessible via the app for Vonu Export beer.

Bellr CEO Mitchell Stapleton-Coory said the Vonu partnership will help get their customer relationship management (CRM) tool into the national hospitality industry.

READ: Sidel, Coca-Cola collaborate on new Fanta bottle

“Vonu came on board to partially fund the development of that (loyalty program) side of it in exchange for a licence on the technology to run the Vonu VIP program,” said Stapleton-Coory.

“By September we’re looking to have 50 Vonu venues signed up, then they’ll start to join on a rolling basis between now and the end of the year scaling up to the 150 total. In addition to that, we’re looking to have about 50 Adelaide venues live in the next couple of months.”

Bellr’s CRM software allows food and beverage businesses to customise and schedule promotions to attract and retain customers. Patrons redeem offers and process electronic payments through the app.

“Venues have the ability to promote anything they like in their venue with 100 per cent autonomy,” said Stapleton-Coory.

“We provide a dashboard to the venue where they can post whatever they want, with complete control over the price point, the products, the capacity, the timing and it’s a live promotion that goes out to people depending on how many follow the venue,” he said.

“With retention, it’s about incentivising loyalty to a venue, a brand or potentially a group of venues. We do that by running tailor-made loyalty programs on our technology which is more invite-only, closed groups like what we’re doing with Vonu and various other brands and customers,” said Stapleton-Coory.

The app also provides insights into a range of metrics from each promotion including the total amount of clicks/impressions, how many people have secured and redeemed it and revenue.

The user interface was designed by app and web developer EB Pearls in Sydney.

Bellr chief operations officer Matthew Giorgio said the user interface was made to be simple and user friendly for venues and customers.

“We basically load you into a map, into a geolocation as to where you are in the world similar to Uber, so you can see what venues and promotions are available around you in real time,” said Giorgio.

“It’s all relative to what’s around you at that point in time. The offers themselves are ephemeral, and don’t last for more than 24 hours, so anything around you is live and interactable.,” he said.

Stapleton-Coory and Giorgio co-founded the company in Adelaide two years ago under the name ‘SHOUTback’ before rebranding. Having previously worked in the hospitality industry, the pair saw firsthand the impact of the gig economy on the business environment.

“Every sales environment has a CRM that they use to manage the customer relationship, but the hospitality industry lags significantly behind in that respect and the state of the industry is changing, they’re dealing with a lot of digital disruptions these days,” said Stapleton-Coory.

“Hospitality venues need to up-skill with tech. They’re currently the third least digitised sector of the economy, so we’re trying to develop an approachable and easy to integrate with platform which will allow them to level up in the tech space,” said Stapleton-Coory.

Bellr is targeting brick and mortar and pop-up venue spaces, and have tested the app in 30 venues around Adelaide.

The company currently receives a 14 per cent flat commission for each promotion.

“We safeguard our percentage by limiting the minimum cost of any promotion sold to $10, that means we can viably afford it,” said Stapleton-Coory.

“We ultimately want to move to a subscription base service where we take less of a commission because of cash flow reasons, we want the venues to keep as much of the sale as possible and we would be happier to just take a monthly fee for licensing the platform,” said Stapleton-Coory.

Stapleton-Coory said they have plans to expand Bellr internationally.

“We see plenty of potential to take it internationally,” he said.

“We’ve got strong connections with Lion in New Zealand who have expressed interest in trailing the software.”

This article was originally published on the Lead.

NSW bottle companies join forces for state litter reduction scheme

Sydney bottle manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil has welcomed the New South Wales Government’s decision to appoint Exchange for Change to coordinate the state’s refund Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).

Exchange for Change is an industry joint venture involving Coca-Cola Amatil, Asahi, Carlton and United Breweries, Coopers and Lion.

The companies will produce and distribute three quarters of the scheme, which will be rolled out across the state in December.

According to the NSW Environment Protection Authority, container litter makes up 44 per cent of all litter in the state and costs more than $162 million to manage.

Hailed as the largest litter reduction scheme introduced to NSW, it is predicted to reduce the volume of litter in the state by 40 per cent by 2020.

“Through Exchange for Change, Amatil will continue to work with the industry and NSW Government to ensure the scheme operates efficiently to minimize the impact to customers and consumers, has robust and transparent governance and achieves the targeted environment outcomes,” a Coca-Cola Amatil spokesperson said.

The NSW Government has also announced its decision to appoint TOMRA-Cleanaway as the network’s operator, which will be responsible for establishing and managing a network of collection points across the state, include reverse vending machines.

The cost of the scheme is subject to a number of factors, including the container redemption rate, the mix of redemption between collection points and material recycling facilities, and the mix of packaging type.

Proposals for container deposit schemes in other territories and states are expected to follow during early 2018 in ACT, July 2018 in Queensland, and 2019 in Western Australia.

Coca-Cola No Sugar launched in Aus

Coca-Cola has today launched the new Coca-Cola No Sugar in Australia after more than five years of research, recipe mixing and flavour trials.

Developed by a team of experts at the company’s US headquarters, the product has been designed to taste as similar to the original Coca-Cola Classic as possible.

“We wanted the experience of drinking Coca-Cola No Sugar to be as close as possible to ‘The Real Thing’,” said Roberto Mercadé, President of Coca-Cola in Australia. “That’s no small task when you consider the original has been cherished by consumers for more than a century.”

“Faced with this challenge, our team of taste experts spent five years mixing different flavours and conducting 18 separate consumer trials before finally cracking it.

Mercadé said it is the product of years of research and marks the latest step in the evolution of sugar-free Coca-Cola recipes that began with Diet Coke in 1982.

The Australian and New Zealand launch follows its debut in Mexico last year where the consumer response to the great new taste has been overwhelmingly positive.

The global rollout of Coca-Cola No Sugar will be the biggest launch of a new Coca-Cola since Coke Zero was introduced over a decade ago in 2006.  It will continue to rollout in other markets from later this year.

The product will be available nationally from June 16, 2017 in all major and independent retailers.


Coca-Cola loses Australian beverage boss

Coca-Cola Amatil’s Managing Director Australian Beverages, Barry O’Connell will step down after four years with the company.

The company said in a statement that Peter McLoughlin will take over from O’Connell  (pictured) pending the completion of a full internal and external search.

O’Connell, who took charge of the beverage supplier’s Australian operations in July 2014 after running the group’s New Zealand business, will return to Europe.

“Over the last three years Barry has built a strong foundation for our Australian Beverages business through his leadership of our transformation program and focus on rebalancing our portfolio to deliver a sustainable business for tomorrow,” said Amatil Group Managing Director Alison Watkins.

The company said that McLoughlin will continue to implement the initiatives currently underway across the Australian market.

Image: Coca-Cola Amatil


Coca-Cola to close South Australia plant

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) will close its plant in South Australia in 2019 and, as a result, 180 workers will lose their jobs.

As the SMH reports, the company said that it had reviewed its operations and decided to increase its operations in Queensland and Western Australia.

CCA’s managing director Alison Watkins said that the layout, infrastructure and logistics of the South Australian plant had prompted the decision.

Ms Watkins said CCA would provide financial counselling and help find new jobs for workers affected by the 180 lost jobs. Existing administrative, distribution, and recycling work would remain in South Australia.

The company said that it will spend A$90 million into a new glass production line and juice and dairy production in its new Richlands plant on Brisbane’s outskirts.

The Richlands plants will have lower operating costs than manufacturing in South Australia due to greater automation.

The Adelaide factory currently produces glass bottles, fruit juice, dairy products and some alcoholic beverages.

As Yahoo7 reports, SA Manufacturing Minister Kyam Maher described the news as “exceptionally disappointing” and added that the company did not discuss the issue with the Government prior to making the decision.

Adelaide Now reports that Opposition employment spokesman Corey Wingard was also disappointed by the decision.

“Coke is going to spend $90 million in Queensland and not South Australia,” he said.

“This is further evidence that under the Weatherill Labor Government, SA is not seen as an attractive place to invest.”





Coca-Cola Ginger released in Australia

Coca-Cola South Pacific has today announced the world premiere of its new limited edition flavour, Coca-Cola Ginger, in Australia.

The new offering gives consumers a refreshing ginger twist on the classic Coke taste, aimed at attracting occasional and lapsed Coca-Cola drinkers. The launch spearheads phase one of the brand’s multimillion dollar Summer campaign.

The launch of Coca-Cola Ginger comes as a result of Coca-Cola recognising a significant commercial opportunity for ginger flavoured carbonated soft drinks with consumer research revealing that the market share in Australia is worth $80 million and is continuing to grow.

Further to this, there is also a high level of crossover between cola and ginger shoppers, with almost 70 per cent of ginger beer and ale shoppers also purchasing a cola product.

The company has to be careful with these types of marketing plans. Who can forget New Coke, which was launched in 1985? An unmitigated disaster that almost sunk the company, New Coke was a Lesson 101 on how you could almost destroy a company’s reputation overnight.

The packaging for Coca-Cola Ginger will be distinct, with premium gold used throughout the labels and bottle caps to highlight the exclusivity of the product as well as differentiate it from the core Coke TM range.

Limited edition packs will be available in Coles, Woolworths, independent retailers and petrol and convenience stores in a variety of pack sizes from late October through Summer 2016/17.

Coca-Cola Amatil’s profit rises with bottled water sales

Coca-Cola Amatil increased profit to $198.2 million for the six months ending June, with the demand for bottled water offsetting lower soft drink sales.

As the SMH reports, CCA saw a 3.2 per cent increase in Group Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) to $326.9 million as well as an increase in net operating cash flows of $331.7 million with cash realisation of 98.1 per cent.

The Group is delivering towards its stated target of sustainable mid-single-digit EPS growth in the medium term with an increase in Earnings Per Share (EPS) of 7.8 per cent to 26.0 cents per share in the half.

Coca-Cola Amatil Group Managing Director, Alison Watkins said, “This is a solid overall performance for the Coca-Cola Amatil Group, it shows progress on our shareholder value proposition and reflects the strength that comes with our diversity of markets, products and categories.”

She added that “In Australia volumes in still beverages increased by 9.3 per cent, driven by strong performances water, energy and dairy. This was the result of innovation and investment across the categories that commenced in 2015 including the introduction of FUZE Tea and Monster Energy and the new Mount Franklin marketing campaign.”