Breaking News: Coca-Cola Meets Coffee

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


You might be forgiven for thinking that Coca Cola has plenty of caffeine in its drinks portfolio already – but today’s breaking news proves the exact opposite is true. Today the global soft drinks giant has announced the acquisition of Costa Coffee, the second largest coffee chain in the world and the largest in the UK market. The deal has been agreed for the tidy sum of £3.9bn ($5 billion) in a deal designed plug the biggest gap in the beverage company’s portfolio.

James Quincey, the President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company described the acquisition as “the right thing to do to serve our consumers with more of the drinks they want” with coffee continuing to be “one of the fastest-growing beverage categories in the world at 6%.”

Already operating over 3,400 stores across 31 countries, Costa Coffee has built a powerful brand with a reputation for innovation (it was the first to trial the use of a drone for a direct-to-customer delivery in the UAE last year) and Quincy made the critical distinction that Costa Coffee is not JUST a brand – it’s a platform – a coffee company which includes a roastery and logistics capabilities, as well as the potential to become a powerful and profitable distribution channel for Coca Cola’s diversified portfolio of drinks, which together justify the “serious and significant investment” announced today. It also gives the company a retail footprint in some markets.

Shares in the current parent company Whitbread jumped 18% – increasing its valuation by over £1bn – described by it’s Chief Executive Alison Brittain, the chief executive of Costa Coffee owner as a “stonking deal”, having originally acquired the brand in 1995 for £19 mn.

The deal is expected to close in 2019 and is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

Check out the official announcement here – and this impressive infographic for more details.


About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty technology company specialized for the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant.

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer, as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards. 



Future of loyalty newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter, and don’t miss a thing. You will receive email newsletters with our latest blog articles, case stories, and ideas-to-go.

E-mail address