In reporting the company’s second quarter earnings Wednesday, Kent was adamant on a call with media that soda lovers are still out there, they’re just consuming smaller amounts of the syrupy beverages.
Coke’s sales took a harsh dive in the quarter ended July 1 as global volume, a measurement of liters sold, went flat. But Kent said that’s an expected side effect of the company’s strategy to hawk smaller sizes and packages of soft drinks at a higher margin, a bid to bump up revenue for a segment that’s been struggling to sell.
“Consumers are still buying and spending money on sparkling beverages,” he said, adding that sparkling accounts for “the vast majority” of spending on non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink beverages.
The company also said that it suffered from foreign currency fluctuation and macroeconomic challenges in particular markets such as China and Argentina. Coke lowered its yearly sales forecast and now expects organic revenue growth of 3% for 2016, compared to a previously estimated 4%-5% gain.
Shares of the company fell more than 3% in morning trading.
The beverage maker said sales fell 5% to $11.54 billion, from $12.16 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts expected sales of $11.63 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.