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How Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Impacted the Coca-Cola Company?

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People throughout the world have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. At Coca-Cola, we are doing our part to help prevent the further spread of the virus, while also supporting the needs of our customers, consumers, employees and communities. We have – and always will – put the health, safety and security of people first. Our approach is grounded in our company’s purpose, which ensures that we continuously strive to make a difference for people in our communities and in our workplaces.

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The biggest impact from the pandemic on Coca-Cola so far has been a sharp decline in the away-from-home sector, which has seen a 25% drop​​ since the pandemic took hold. This includes eating and drinking channels as well as on-the-go orientated channels like convenience retail. “While our exposure varies across markets, away-from-home broadly represents about half of our business, given our strong share positions,” ​said Quincey. ​ “In some markets, like the US, drive-thru operations and carryout have helped offset some of the pressure, but most restaurants are operating on limited hours and are seeing overall trips decline sharply.”​ There is still a good deal of uncertainty around the trajectory of the pandemic, as well as the resulting macroeconomic impact, acknowledges Quincey. Therefore it's nearly impossible to predict how the pandemic will develop. What can help, however, is to look at the Chinese market, he says. "While we're seeing different impacts across geographies and at different times, generally we expect three phases. The outbreak with its corresponding social distancing measures, a period of graduated reopenings, and finally, a return to a new normal. ​ "Consumer mindset and shopping behavior will be different in each phase, and they'll vary across markets. but we foresee some similar patterns.​ "We can look to China for some early learnings about the various phases. Our plants there are all operating, and employees have returned to company offices in Shanghai

We're seeing encouraging signs of increased consumption as outlets reopen resulting in sequential improvements in China. However, the consumption is still lower than prior year, and we expect a full recovery to take time, especially as there are still limits on crowd sizes.

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In the end, as the coronavirus pandemic has spread globally, dozens of companies have donated billions of dollars collectively to combat the crisis. Coca-Cola Philippines is redirecting nearly $3 million earmarked for advertising to assist those on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. Chevron has made $7 million in commitments to fight coronavirus globally. Amazon's Jeff Bezos is giving $100 million to support local food banks facing shortages amid the COVID-19 outbreak. And there are plenty of others. While these philanthropic efforts should not be discounted, this list isn’t about money. Instead, Fortune is focusing on how companies are using their services, infrastructure, products, equipment, and expertise to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and help their employees and customers get through this crisis.

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