Fruta Brno_small Fruta Brno_small

Bratislava, May 19th, 2021 - It has been 50 years since the first bottle of Coca-Cola came out of the production line in Czechoslovakia. At that time, the only variety available was the classic one in an iconic glass bottle with a volume of 250 ml. The Czechs and Slovaks still mention that Coca-Cola was something extraordinary, worth putting away a bottle or, later, a can of. But a lot has changed over decades. The company has given work to almost tens of thousands of people in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, has become greener and brought 50 years of joy.

"Coca-Cola has been produced worldwide for 135 years and operates in almost 200 countries around the world. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, they celebrate an amazing 50th anniversary. It is a special milestone for us, and we appreciate the fact that the Czechs and Slovaks will celebrate it with us, just the same as Coca-Cola beverages have been celebrating their most memorable moments with them for decades.” says Natalia Stroe, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company CZ / SK.

The first Coca-Cola beverage was brought to Czechoslovakia by the allied powers of the American army in 1945. The recognizable taste became a symbol of the new beginnings and the desire for a better life. It was associated with it in the years to come, when the red label with the elegant white inscription ‘’Coca-Cola’’ represented the modern and free way of life that people in socialist Czechoslovakia aspired to. This is why, in 1968, the communication with the representatives of The Coca-Cola Company in Rome began, and a year later the local company ‘’Fruta Brno’’ sent a draft contract to New York, choosing a cannery in Modřice for its production.

1971 – an important milestone

Even though for many Czechs and Slovaks Coca-Cola is primarily associated with the West, the drink has been produced locally for decades. However, only one in seven respondents in the STEM and FOCUS survey especially designed for this occasion, guessed it right that Coca-Cola has been produced here for 50 years already.

press_50_years_stats press_50_years_stats

Despite the fact that 50 years ago when the production started it was the end of the summer, we are starting the celebrations today. The first bottle for customers with a volume of 250 ml came out of the production line in September 1971. Czechoslovakia thus became the fourth socialist country in which Coca-Cola was produced, and the 135th in which it was served.

In socialist Czechoslovakia, gastronomic establishments were separated into four price categories. Purchase of Coca-Cola was limited in the 1970s - e.g. in the 1st and 2nd category restaurants, in Tuzex stores, or on trains and planes.

In 1971, 3,073,190 crates of 24 250 ml bottles were produced in Modřice, i.e. a total of 18,439,140 litres of Coca-Cola. The annual average production of the Kyje plant is currently more than 200 million litres of Coca-Cola (all together in classic, light and zero varieties).

The biggest change occurred in 1991, when production in a state-owned company was taken over by a private bottling company, Coca-Cola Amatil, which continued to produce the iconic beverage of The Coca-Cola Company in Czechoslovakia. Since then, the number of places where Coca-Cola can be bought has increased, as have varieties of flavour and packaging. Today it is sold in nine different varieties.

People make the difference

Since 2000 Coca-Cola has been produced and bottled by Coca-Cola HBC, a strategic partner of The Coca-Cola Company. Over the last 30 years, Coca-Cola has employed almost 10,000 people. 943 people of 20 different nationalities are currently employed by Coca-Cola. Almost 9% of the company's employees have been working for them for more than 25 years.

"Coca-Cola is built on relationships that help us fulfil our vision on a daily basis. This would not be possible without the employees who perceive their work as their passion. They represent the core values of our company: caring, sharing, integrity and accuracy. At the same time, we must not forget our customers and business partners, without whom we would not be able to meet the needs of all the consumers." explains Dan Timotin, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC CZ / SK.

The plant where Coca-Cola beverages were produced was also located in Slovakia, in the village of Lúka, in the district of Nové mesto nad Váhom, for 22 years. Today, Coca-Cola beverages for the Czech Republic and Slovakia are produced at the plant Kyje in Prague. For both countries, Coca-Cola has been a great financial benefit. Over the last 15 years, the company has paid three billion Czech crowns in taxes, i.e. 120 million euros in the Czech Republic and Slovakia combined.

More environmentally friendly refreshment

Although the demand and production are increasing from year to year, the carbon footprint of Coca-Cola is declining. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a leading global sustainability indicator, rates Coca-Cola HBC as the world's most sustainable beverage company in 2020. In 2020, the company managed to reduce CO2 per litre of beverage produced to 16.25 g, i.e. by half compared to 2018.

Coca-Cola and ecology today

- 57% more energy efficient refrigerators for partners in HoReCa, the so-called ICoolers, which saved 72 tons of CO2 in 2020

- Trend of reducing water consumption in the production process (1.61 litres of water per 1 litre of beverage produced)

- Change of vehicle fleet and transition to vehicles with alternative fuel, owing to which by 2030 Coca-Cola HBC will reduce its emissions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia by 55% compared to 2017

- Launch of the rPET bottle - Natura and Römerquelle, which is 100% recycled PET material from old bottles

- Basis for a wetland in the area of the Kyje plant in Prague, to support biodiversity in the city

"Sustainability is our priority. For each bottle sold, we want to collect and recycle one bottle or can by 2025, and also locally produce 50% of our packaging from recycled raw materials,” Dan Timotin explains the company’s global goals.

We have been together for 50 years

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Coca-Cola is still associated with the recognizable taste and joy with every sip. In a survey by the STEM and FOCUS agencies, almost a fifth of the population of the Czech Republic (18%) and Slovakia (19%) stated that they associate Coca-Cola with important life events, such as celebrations or holidays.

The festive atmosphere will also influence a special edition of packaging on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the production of beverages in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as of this June. Czech and Slovak landmarks will be used to decorate cans and bottle labels.

Fans of the legendary taste can look forward to limited edition bottles, summer competitions, during which Coca-Cola will give away as many as 550 prizes. The main prize will be a gold coin worth 1150 EUR, which the fans of the drink can compete for every day.

produktove_foto produktove_foto

As part of the celebrations, we will help others so that they can help as well

Coca-Cola will be also including in its celebrations those in need in both countries, as it has a long-lasting sense of responsibility for developing and supporting communities, and not only in the times of COVID pandemic, which has hurt the most vulnerable ones.

"Although we have prepared a number of activities for our customers as part of the celebration, we will not forget those who need help. As part of the anniversary, we prepared a project called ‘’50 Places for a Good Deed’’ in cooperation with our selected long-term partners, the Czech and Slovak Red Cross, the Tereza Maxová Foundation and Smile as a Gift. It will help educate employees of children's homes and other social services so that they can provide help more effectively to those who really need it." explains Joonas Mäkilä, Marketing Director of Coca-Cola HBC CZ / SK.

50 years of production of the most popular soft drink in the world in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is a big milestone, and it deserves special attention and celebration. Fans of the Coca-Cola brand and beverage will have a lot of surprises in the coming months, until the culmination of the celebrations in September.

You can learn more about the journey of Coca-Cola in Czechoslovakia in this video.

More information is available at:

50_let_spolu_v_cesku 50_let_spolu_v_cesku
~ai-72f430d0-062a-4a11-834f-8d90cfca87ed_ ~ai-72f430d0-062a-4a11-834f-8d90cfca87ed_