Monday 6 July 2020

Where will the Great Brand Odwalla Land?

In a past post, I wrote about how great brands and products never die.  I provided two examples: the first, was Sesame Street; and the second, was Hostess products.  There’s another example of a great brand and product that is on the chopping block: Odwalla smoothies and juices.  Coca-Cola has announced that it is terminating the Odwalla brand.  According to CNN, this is a reaction, in part, to changing consumer demand and simplifying their supply chain.  Those smoothies do have a lot of sugar!  

Notably, Coca-Cola has over 500 brands.  Unlike Hostess, which was in bankruptcy, it will be interesting to see whether Coca-Cola will sell the brand.  If Coca-Cola truly wants to exit the smoothie business, then perhaps they won’t be concerned about a future competitor in that business line.  Coca-Cola does have other juice products.  However, even if demand for smoothies is falling off, I do wonder whether the demand will pick up again.  Interestingly, last year, Coca-Cola offered a zero calorie smoothie—perhaps they didn’t invest enough in marketing the new product.  For sure, it does take a while for trademark abandonment to kick in.  We’ll have to wait and see what happens.  Oh, and by the way, Odwalla was purchased for US $181 million almost two decades ago.  (And, if you are curious about my children's politics--now 15, 12 and 11--they think "cancel culture" is very troubling (everybody makes mistakes, redemption and what happened to free speech). They would vote for Biden if they could, but are relatively lost about what he stands for except that he's the alternative to President Trump--I think some debates will help.  They are concerned about Biden's comments about how if African Americans don't vote for him then they're not black and are somewhat mollified by his back-tracking.)

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