Coca-Cola to cut 1,200 jobs as consumers turn away from sugary drinks

coca cola

Coca-Cola has announced plans to cut about 20 per cent of its corporate workforce, as the company battles a drop in sales due to falling demand for its sugary drinks, the Independent reports.

The US firm said it will cut 1,200 jobs starting later this year as it increases its cost-cutting target by $800m and is now expecting to save $3.8bn by 2019.

This represents about a 22 per cent reduction of its 5,500 corporate staff or a 1 per cent reduction in its total workforce of 100,300 employees, according to figures by FactSet, cited by AP.

Global sales of Coca-Cola’s fizzy drinks fell by one per cent for the first three months of 2017 as health-conscious consumers across the US and Europe are increasingly shying away from drinks with a high sugar content.

Coca-Cola said it expects full-year adjusted profits to drop by between 1 to 3 per cent, compared with a 1 to 4 per cent decline it had forecast in February.

The cost-cutting comes as drink and food manufacturers find themselves on a never-ending quest for more healthy ways to sweeten products, pressured by a consumer trend toward healthier products.

Nestlé, the company behind KitKat and Aero, last year claimed it made a scientific breakthrough that has the potential to reduce sugar in its treats by up to 40 per cent, without affecting the taste.

It followed PepsiCo’s commitment to spend billions of dollars creating new snacks and beverages, and reformulating existing ones to cut salt, sugar and fat content.

Coca-cola, last year, also changed its Coke Zero recipe and renamed it Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in the UK to make it “taste more and look more” like the original one, the company said.

The move to replace Coke Zero was supported by a £10m campaign.