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Coca-Cola Africa seeks African tech solutions measuring in-market performance

The “Tracking Revolution Challenge”, which will see Disrupt Africa source startups from across the continent and give them the chance to pitch in front of Coca-Cola executives for the opportunity of securing a pilot project with the company, has been launched to solve an internal business problem for the beverage manufacturer.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, Coca-Cola Africa (Proprietary) Limited covers Southern Africa, East Africa and the Horn of Africa. The majority of non-alcoholic ready to drink beverages in these markets are sold through informal retailers, making it challenging for many manufacturers, including Coca-Cola Africa (Proprietary) Limited, in obtaining insights into performance using actual real time data.

“Modern Trade such as hypermarkets and supermarkets are relatively simple to track as information is collected via the scanning methodology at tills,” said Njabu Hlanze, Business Insights Manager at Coca-Cola Africa (Proprietary) Limited.

“However, the majority of our products move through informal trade channels, and due the nature of retail tracking – non-scanning and the use of manual auditing – coverage of this channel is not particularly as robust as we would need it to be. On-Premise traders such as restaurants, bars and cafes also move a sizeable amount of our products, also making it a key channel of interest for us.”

As a result of this, Coca-Cola Africa (Proprietary) Limited has prioritised the testing of new end-to-end solutions that provide deeper insights into the performance of our brands and competitors, and has partnered with Disrupt Africa to launch the Tracking Revolution Challenge, which is seeking innovative, faster, cheaper and more accurate methods to track retail dynamics. 

“Our tracking methods currently are captured at the channel phase of the product journey. However, our beverages are also heavily consumed away from home. Thus, the most holistic way of tracking which would be ideal to us would be to also capture the next part of the product journey – from the consumer and ideally as soon as possible from the purchasing moment as this would eliminate “claimed” volumes to actual volumes,” Hlanze said.

Key metrics Coca-Cola Africa (Proprietary) Limited is looking to track include price, volume sales, value sales, distribution, pack type, geography and channel type. Executional metrics would also be of interest. The challenge is primarily focused on the Kenyan market, however scalability into the rest of the African market would also be beneficial.

Winning startups, which will be given the opportunity to work with Coca-Cola Africa (Proprietary) Limited on trialing their end-to-end solutions, will be the ones that best track sell-out sales of total basket of goods and key metrics in these Informal and/or On Premise channels, track away from home consumption of beverages in real time, or both. The use of innovative technology is the only way forward and hence Coca-Cola Africa (Proprietary) Limited’s partnership with Disrupt Africa to find the best suited candidates.

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