Coca-Cola Fortune is the result of a merger, on March 1 2002, between the South African operations of Coca-Cola Sabco and the Kunene family’s Fortune Beverages. Both bottlers have a proudly South African story.
Coca-Cola Sabco can trace its roots back to the 1930s when an American businessman set up a Coca-Cola distribution centre in the country. As a result of market demand for the soft drink, the first bottling plant was opened in Port Elizabeth in June 1940. In October that year, PR Gutsche joined the operation, signalling the start of an involvement that passed from father to son, and which has endured for more than six decades. On November 1 1995 what was the SA Bottling Company became
Coca-Cola Sabco and the seven business units, which had existed independently during the apartheid era, were brought together.
Today Coca-Cola Sabco operates in seven Southern and East African countries and five Asian countries, and employs more than 9 500 people. It has 25 bottling plants and serves the refreshment needs of 240 million consumers. Its vision is to be the best Coca-Cola bottler in the world.
Founded by entrepreneurial businessman, Fortune Kunene in 1978, Fortune Beverages grew from a small Coca-Cola distribution centre in Vosloorus near Johannesburg into a significant bottler. At the time of the merger with Coca-Cola Sabco, Fortune Beverages consisted of two plants and over 600 employees.
The second-largest Coca-Cola bottling and distribution company in South Africa, Coca-Cola Fortune has bottling plants in Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Port Shepstone, Polokwane, Nelspruit and Border Kei. In addition, 22 sales centres and 3 600 employees serve 80% of the country’s land mass, establishing its position as a leader in the rural and emerging markets. Annual sales volumes exceed 90 million unit cases.
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