I'm sad, very sad, and frustrated at the same time. I ask myself: "Was it planned?".
Let's start by telling you how much I love the brand, probably being one of the biggest fans ever. I've been to Atlanta for the museum and factory tour, to Las Vegas for the shop, and at home, many of you know my collection of Coca-Cola bottles.
A couple of years ago, I worked with Coca-Cola, and I discovered how unprofessional the local team is. I'm sorry to say it this way, but a team that doesn't care about marketing doesn't answer phone calls or emails... in a country where Coca-Cola has only 3% of the market share, yes 3% ONLY, and they're not doing anything about it. Pepsi kept on growing while Coke was watching. Half the times, I went to supermarkets searchng for my favorite brand to find it out of stock.
Owned by the Aujan group, which manages Cocoa-Cola Lebanon from Saudi Arabia, I'm sure the mother company doesn't know how bad the operations are in Lebanon: closing has nothing to do with the "thawra," "Covid-19" or "Economic situation". I can't believe their claims! Money transfer? It's a Saudi company which can sustain to pay for imported goods and use local money to pay salaries... Don't throw the blame on our Lebanon!
Anyway, feeling frustrated and deceived, I hope someone will decide to reopen one day with the appropriate team that can handle this unique, world-famous brand. The question remains: what would Mc. Donald's and Dunkin' among others, do with their international agreement? Mc.Donalds and Coca-Cola come in pair! Let's wait and see the outcome.
As of today, after drinking an average of two cans a day for the last decade or so, I'm saying goodbye to soft drinks... No, I'm not switching to Pepsi!
(A leader all around the world, Coca-Cola giants have been struggling in Lebanon, holding a market share of less than 7%, as opposed to Pepsi who have not left the playground for any competitors. This year, with "Share a Coke" campaign, Coca-Cola is making a come back… Flooding the market with billboards and TV advertisements, let's see what's next...)