Coke – Still in Trouble

So far, Idsell hasn't been able to pull Coke out of a downward spiral.

He's facing a host of problems, from sluggish growth in once-lucrative international markets such as Germany and Mexico to tepid consumer reception of new products like the much-ballyhooed C2 cola. But what seems also to have spooked investors are reports of simmering tensions between Coke and its increasingly powerful independent bottlers. What it all comes down to is syrup — how much of the stuff the bottlers will buy, and what price they're willing to pay. For years, the bottlers were at the mercy of Coke headquarters, as the cola giant pushed through huge increases on the price it charged for the prized concentrate. Now, the bottlers, newly empowered through a string of acquisitions, are fighting back.

Two months isn't very long, and I suspect the board will give him two years to turn things around. But I can tell you that so far from what I can tell C2 was a flop. We have a drink machine and Coke talked us into buying some. We could barely get rid of it.

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