Coca-Cola and its two largest bottlers settled a lawsuit over certain distribution systems with a group of smaller bottlers. Under the settlement, all parties will work together to develop and roll out new distribution systems for the beverages.
Although consumers are increasingly purchasing more bottled waters, sports drinks and fruit beverages instead of soda, the major players in the beverage war -- Coca Cola Co. and PepsiCo -- will not change because both companies have embraced the trend of beverages that emphasize health.
Coca-Cola and its distributors continue to dispute Powerade rights. Recent court documents indicate an association of Coke's independent distributors, which claims Coke breached contract when it agreed to a direct-delivery deal with Wal-Mart Stores, proposed Coke buy out their distribution rights for $700 million, but Coke maintains that the amount is based on "grossly incorrect" financial analysis.
Coca-Cola Co., along with Campbell Soup Co.-owned Godiva Chocolatier, on July 31 will introduce Godiva Belgian Blends, a new line of premium blended drinks. Flavors include dark chocolate mocha, milk chocolate mocha and French vanilla latte.