Coca-Cola yesterday used Amazon exclusively to relaunch its discontinued soda drink Surge, the first time the drinks giant has distributed a product solely through eCommerce – further evidence that CPG brands are increasingly looking to drive sales from the online channel.
Originally launched in 1996, Surge was taken off the market in the early 2000s but is making a comeback thanks to a passionate community of fans – The Surge Movement – which has been continuously lobbying Coca-Cola to bring back the soda drink.
Yesterday’s relaunch sees Coca-Cola exclusively use Amazon as its distribution partner – a first by the drinks giant – enabling the company to both launch a brand online as well as closely monitor sales and inventory. The first batch of Surge reportedly sold out within hours on Amazon.
“Today marks an important day in The Coca-Cola company’s history, because we have so many firsts to celebrate: first re-introduction of a brand that has been discontinued and revived due to popular demand, first launch to rely solely on social and digital media, and first re-introduction of a brand via eCommerce”, said Wendy Clark, president of sparkling and strategic marketing for Coca-Cola North America.
The company further announced that if expectations were met, this would be only the first of a variety of efforts the brand explores to launch niche products through the eCommerce channel.
“In this new era of marketing, we’re exploring segmented delivery of our portfolio to consumers,” added Rachel Mason, associate vice president of sparkling flavors. “Previously, a smaller brand would never have had a realistic shot at commercialization. Now with Amazon, consumers can order a product like Surge and have it delivered directly to their doorstep. It’s the democratization of demand.”
With more and more shoppers buying groceries online, CPG brands are increasingly looking to eCommerce to grow sales and increase brand awareness. A recent report from Nielsen predicts the CPG category has huge potential online due to frequency of purchase, whilst another report prepared for The Grocery Manufacturers Association suggests that eCommerce could grow to 5% of CPG sales by 2018 – and accelerate to as much as 10%.
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