How to Become a Coca-Cola Distributor

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The Coca-Cola Company creates and markets many beverage product brands, including Dasani, Oasis, Sprite, Fanta, Coca-Cola and Diet Coke. Since the Coca-Cola Company sells more beverages than any other company in the world, it is a lucrative idea to look into becoming a Coca-Cola distributor.

Study the Coca-Cola system of business. The Coca-Cola Company itself is in charge of producing the ingredients to create Coca-Cola beverages, as well as marketing the products. Coca-Cola’s bottling partners are separate from the company itself, and are in charge of production, packaging and distribution. If you are looking to distribute Coca-Cola products to customers (including grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers), you must become a Coca-Cola bottler.

Find out which bottling companies represent your area. It may be that you are not in an appropriate area to start a bottling company. Check to see if there is a particular Coca-Cola brand that is not supplied adequately in your location, since the Coca-Cola Company is responsible for over 3,300 beverages around the world. (See The Coca-Cola Bottler Finder to find bottlers in your area.)

Contact the Coca-Cola Company by mail, e-mail or phone to inform them of your desire to start a bottling company. Also, request their guidelines and standards for starting and maintaining a bottling company. Bottlers must abide by Coca-Cola's strict policies, as Coca-Cola has established high standards of production and delivery to ensure product consistency and safety.

Gather local market research for your business proposal. Since market analysis is often very in-depth and requires training, it is recommended that you hire a Market Research Analyst to design surveys to hand out to local businesses and prepare the data that you will insert into your report. (If you choose to do this work yourself, you will need to prepare surveys that include questions about a customer's satisfaction with their current Coca-Cola distributor, product supply/demand, and the growth of the market.)

Create a business proposal and present it to Coca-Cola. Use Coca-Cola's bottling company standards and guidelines to help you write your report. Include details such as what products your company will provide, and how your company will benefit Coca-Cola; what the estimated financial start-up costs will be; the number of staff required and their qualifications; and results of your market research and analysis. (See websites such as Capture Planning for more help in preparing your business proposal. Professional business plan consultants are available to help you figure out what to present and how to present it.) You will not need to include details about marketing, as Coca-Cola handles the marketing of its products.

Develop relationships with local businesses, if your business proposal is accepted by Coca-Cola. Either use information gathered in the market analysis, or manually contact all local businesses and introduce yourself as an emerging Coca-Cola bottler. As your business plans turn into reality, your ability to cultivate trust and a rapport with clients will enable your business to succeed and will give you an advantage over other Coca-Cola distributors.