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Coca-Cola on Track to Complete its $1.7 bn Investment in ‘Fruit Circular Economy’

Globally, Coca-Cola offers over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories

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Coca Cola is known to spend a huge amount of money on its advertisement campaigns. Wikimedia Common
Coca Cola is known to spend a huge amount of money on its advertisement campaigns. Wikimedia Commons

Global FMCG major Coca-Cola is on track to complete all its investment commitments in India, including the $1.7 billion funding to create a “Fruit Circular Economy” meant to aide the Indian agri-ecosystem, a senior company executive told IANS.

The planned investment of $5 billion announced by the company in 2012 is expected to be completed by 2020 for retail infrastructure creation, bottling plants and introduction of new products, amongst others.

Since its re-entry into India in 1993 till 2011, Coca-Cola invested $2 billion in the country. “We are on track with our investment commitments of $5 billion by 2020. That’s on track,” a senior executive with the beverages major’s India arm told IANS.

Additionally, the company has committed an investment of $1.7 billion or more than Rs 11,000 crore towards creating a “Fruit Circular Economy” aiding the Indian agri-ecosystem for the next five years till 2023.

“This investments will help catalyse the entire fruit value chain helping take them from the grove to the glass,” the executive said.

Apart from its planned investments, Coca-Cola India has initiated the next stage of its transformation into a “growth-oriented, consumer-centred, Total Beverage Company”.

“As part of this journey, we continue to expand our beverages portfolio to provide more choices to our customers across our Indian and global portfolio,” the executive said.

The company recently set up a new business venture division to incubate and scale-up new businesses.

coca cola
“The decision by more than 30 companies to publicly disclose their annual plastic packaging volumes in the report is an important step towards greater transparency,” it said. Pixabay

“This new division is focused on broadening our beverages range so that our portfolio appeals and is available to wider parts of society,” the executive said.

“One part of the strategy here is to look across Coca-Cola’s global portfolio and bring brands to India that we think will resonate with the consumers here, thus offering them more choice,” the executive added.

Consequently, the beverage major in India entered into new segments, like the niche but potentially high-volume non-alcoholic malt drinks market with its global brand, Barbican.

Other notable additions to its portfolio this year have been Rani Float and Powerade, both of which were brought to India from the company’s global portfolio.

“Our 2020 plans include making both Rani Float and Powerade more widely available pan India,” the executive said.

Besides, the company’s India unit is also incubating its own brands, one of them being Aquarius Gluco-charge, which was launched about a year-ago across some parts of the country.

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“Other incubations include experimenting in beverages that are more unique to India. Our aim is to be the preferred choice of beverage, no matter what your beverage preference is,” the executive added.

Globally, Coca-Cola offers over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories.

In India, the company offers beverage brands like Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Coke, Thums Up, Fanta, Fanta Green Mango, Limca, Sprite, Sprite Zero, VIO Flavoured Milk, Kinley and BURN energy drinks, amongst others. (IANS)

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Reasons For Bigger Houses In America

Here's why houses are getting bigger in America

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Americans prefer houses that have big and open spaces in them. Pixabay

BY DORA MEKOUAR

Americans have long been drawn to big, open spaces, so perhaps it’s no surprise that houses built in the United States are among the most expansive on the planet.

And they keep getting bigger.

The size of the average house has more than doubled since the 1950s. In 2019, the average size of a new single-family home was 240 square meters (2,584 square feet), according to the National Association of Homebuilders.

Deeply held feelings about one’s home may be rooted in America’s homesteading, pioneering past.

“The appeal of the house for Americans, going back into the 20th century, was that it signified autonomy. You know, every home is a castle,” says Louis Hyman, an economic historian and assistant professor at Cornell University. “So, it has these echoes of signifying independence and achievement.”

The federal government has pushed the idea that a nation of homeowners is ideal.

The 1934 establishment of the Federal Housing Administration revolutionized home ownership. By creating the financial mortgaging system that Americans still use today, the FHA made home buying more accessible for millions of people. At the time, most Americans rented. Homeownership stood at 40% in 1934. By 2001, the figure had risen to 68%.

In the 1940s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt equated homeownership with citizenship, saying that a “nation of homeowners, of people who own a real share in their own land, is unconquerable.”

Today, the homeownership rate in the United States stands at around 65%.

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The average newly built house is now twice as big as the average new home in 1945. Pixabay

The ability to invest in their homes has helped mask economic stagnation for many Americans. Although unemployment is near a record low, real wages — the number of goods and services that can be bought with money earned — haven’t budged in decades for U.S. workers.

“As Americans find that their wages are stagnating after the 1970s, they’re able to make money by investing in houses,” Hyman says. “The houses become a way for average Americans to get financial leverage, which can multiply their returns. There’s no other way for Americans to get access to financial leverage outside of houses. You can’t do it in the stock market if you’re just a normal person, and so this is a way to basically speculate in housing.”

For some Americans, owning a big home is a status symbol, physical proof that they’ve succeeded in life.

“This kind of classical example of the big suburban home has been a very powerful idea for many, many decades now,” says architectural historian William Richards. “People sometimes want specific rooms that have specific functions —a mud room; everybody gets their own bedroom; there’s no bunking up; a dedicated laundry room.”

And spacious houses are more financially attainable than they used to be.

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For many Americans, a large home is not only a status symbol, but also an investment. Pixabay

“In the design and construction, there are greater efficiencies now for all sorts of reasons so that it’s less expensive to build a bigger house now,” Richards says.

But do bigger houses, sometimes called McMansions, make people happier? Not according to a recent paper that Clément Bellet, now an adjunct professor at INSEAD, a European business school, wrote as a postdoctoral fellow.

“Despite a major upscaling of single-family houses since 1980, house satisfaction has remained steady in American suburbs,” Bellet writes in the report.

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People living in larger houses, however, do tend to be more satisfied with their property, according to Bellet, but that satisfaction plunges when even more massive houses are built nearby. (VOA)