Coca-Cola on Thinking like a Start-up, Open Innovation and Avoiding ‘Kodak Moments’

Coca-Cola has to "think and act like a lean start-up company" if it wants to stay ahead of the pack, using its Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) arm to make "more, earlier bets" to find the next big thing in beverages, says its procurement boss, Ron Lewis. Coke is on a mission to double the size of its business by 2020, which will require significant innovation.

Speaking at the Supply Side West trade show in Las Vegas, Lewis said Coke’s aggressive expansion plans will require disruptive innovation. He explains that the soft drink giant plans to be the best at innovation in the food industry. It plans to do so via an open network.

A key part of Coke’s strategy is its Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) group, which was created to identify the next generation of brands with billion-dollar potential. Lewis indicated that VEB is driving to make “more, earlier bets,” to fail fast and learn and innovate quickly.

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