Classic Coca-Cola bottle

E-commerce Lets the Fizz Out of Coke

When you think about all the myriad ways e-commerce is driving change in the economy and our daily lives – shuttering traditional retailers, heightening demand for urban warehouses, and changing the way we shop for books, clothes, medicine and just about everything else – one part of life that is also impacted may be a surprise: declining soda sales.

In an interview with new Coca-Cola Co. CEO James Quincey, Bloomberg reports that consumers’ increased online shopping habits mean fewer visits to the mall. Fewer in-store shoppers mean Coke sales in food courts and vending machines have taken a hit.

With Fortune’s report that nearly 10 million more Americans shopped online than in stores during last year’s Thanksgiving-Black Friday weekend, helping Coke thrive in the digital age is a top priority. Perhaps the decline cannot be fully blamed on e-commerce though, as Coke and other soft drink manufacturers are at the same time battling heath concerns about high-sugar drinks and trying to nudge out competitors that claim to offer healthier options. says that “Coke’s new CEO’s focus is in technologically upgrading the iconic American brand. That means using tech to note where they are losing sales — food delivery, for example, was a problem for Coke because restaurants had been selling the wrong serving sizes.”

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