At a time when energy self-generation and buyers’ preference for low-calorie drinks are gaining strength, the Coca Cola Femsa Colombia company is adjusting to take advantage of the take-off that is beginning to be seen in household consumption, making a bet for sustainability, after recently inaugurating, together with the French firm Air Liquide, the first multi-generation plant in its Tocancipá production complex. The president of the company, Gabriel Coindreau, indicated that the offer of free drinks of calories in the portfolio “will be the one that it has to be” and said that the new infrastructure will allow to take advantage of the CO2 generated by the turbine for the manufacture of its beverages.
How much will the balance benefit with the new generation plant? There is an interest in making better use of resources to lower production costs. It is a technology issue, but there is a benefit that is not so material. Here we go through the three edges of the Coca Cola Femsa mission, which is to create economic, social and environmental value in the communities where it works. How was the investment distributed? Our production plant cost 300 million dollars. The 44 million dollars of the generation they put them and we have a long-term contract with Air Liquide. It is an investment for Femsa, made by a supplier, and that we will pay in the long term in a service contract. How will it operate? The industrial park consumes all the light produced by the turbine. In some moments there will be surpluses, which will be sent to the network. Of nitrogen, ice water and steam, 100 percent is consumed by the park. CO2 is not, because the turbine can produce 50 tons per day and we consume 15. Air Liquide will have 35 tons left to sell to other customers. How will you face the double-digit fall in beverage consumption? It was complicated, although we believe it is a situational issue. Beyond the fiscal impact, there is an impact of confidence. The consumer was worried and entered into a process of austerity. I hope this year is better. It has stopped falling, started a very shy recovery process and we would like to see it more dynamic. We have to take advantage of the fact that the economy is already beginning to move to give it more speed and that we recover soon.
How to make the consumption take off? The first thing is to lower the interest rate and trust increases. Many times the pocket does not react, but the feeling. Consumer confidence is recovering and it is very good.
More non-caloric drinks How do they adjust to the trend of less consumption of sugary drinks? The first thing is innovation and offer the consumer different products according to what he wants to take. We have greatly expanded our non-caloric offer for consumers to make the decision. We also continue to grow in non-carbonated beverages, such as water or juices. We will continue to grow, not only in soft drinks, but in an integral portfolio.
The first thing is innovation and offer the consumer different products according to what he wants to take
The idea is to balance it towards 50% caloric and half non-caloric? What it has to be. Obviously, what is growing is non-caloric and that is going to take a larger mix. And consumer trends will lead us to that. Our job is to make sure that we have the availability of these products in the market and we are working on that. What is the caloric and non-caloric mix of the company today? Everything depends because each product is different. In teas many are non-caloric, and in Coca Cola it is close to 10 percent. Depending on each category. But this will definitely grow on offer and cake. If you revive the tax on sugary drinks, how do you see the future? It is a controversial subject. The reality is that if there are taxes and low in some countries the consumption of drinking, not necessarily low obesity.
The reality is that if there are taxes and low in some countries the consumption of the drink, it does not necessarily reduce obesity
There is a lot of substitution and it is not necessarily less calories. For example, in Colombia, a panela water has more calories than a Coca Cola. The problem is solved with a better education to the consumer, better food and better lifestyle. We have to move. ECONOMY AND BUSINESS