A Case Study of Nigeria Bottling Company

Table of Content


Investigate and Analyze the Company’s History and Growth. The Nigerian Bottling Company came into existence on May 8th 1886 when the late A. G. Leventis founded the company. It was the first in this country to be offered franchise by an international “soft drink firm”. From a humble beginning as a family business, the company has grown to become a predominant bottler of non-alcoholic beverages in Nigeria. The first plant, which was sited in Lagos, went into operation in March 1953.

Coke was the first soft drink to have its own designed shaped bottles, which was different from the common trade bottles. In 1972, the company went public by the issue of 372,580 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each. This was in compliance with the Nigerian Enterprise Promotion Decree of 1972. Some years after the Ibadan Plant was opened (though later shut down due to non- availability of good water in Ibadan metropolis) that of Port- Harcourt was established and many others followed of which Llorin Plant came into existence in April 1979 so as to be able to meet the demands of the consumers in the region.

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Ilorin Plant was mainly established to meet the needs of the people in Bida, Jebba, Ogbomosho, Okene, Oshogbo, Kontagora, Ijagbo, Offa, Lokoja and Ilorin metro- polis. The plant has 8 managers. The range of soft drinks bottled by Nigeria Bottling Company, Ilorin Plant includes Fanta orange, Coke, Sprite, Krest, Bitter Lemon, Ginger Ale and Eva water. In terms of sales, the company enjoys a wide acceptance of its products. Ranging NBC Plc as a whole, its performance is highly appreciated.

The company presently has 13 bottling facilities and over 80 distribution warehouses located across the country. Since production started, NBC Plc has remained the largest bottler of nonalcoholic beverages in the country in terms of sales volume, with about 1. 8 billion bottles sold per year, making it the second largest market in Africa. Today, the company is part of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling company (CCHBC), one of Coca-Cola Company’s largest anchor bottlers worldwide. CCHBC operates in 28 countries, serving 540 million consumers and selling over 1. billion unit cases of beverage annually. The company is governed by a stable nine member board of directors comprising of very prominent individual who have excelled in different fields of endeavor within and outside Nigeria. The Board is headed by Ambassador Olusegun Apata while the management team is led by Mr. Ronald Ebelt, an expatriate professional.

Data Analysis

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses Within the Company

The first and foremost strength the company has is its staying power – it has been in operation since 1886.

It means it has survived all the challenges within the company and on its external environment over the years, decades and a century – and how many companies manage to do that? Secondly, Coca-cola’s bottling system is one of their greatest strengths. It allows them to conduct business on a global scale while at the same time maintain a local approach. The bottling companies are locally owned and operated by independent business people like the Nigeria Bottling Company who are authorized to sell the products of the company. Consequently and additionally, it’s Coke’s international popularity.

The company is known throughout the world. People from all over the world purchase and drink the different products it has. Another strength is their “trade secret” which is the formula for Coca-cola – that distinct taste many has attempted to copy but no one has succeeded and is the reason why today, products their products are consumed at the rate of more than one billion drinks per day. Last but not least, one strength of the company is the strong brand name it has, brought about by the effective and relentless marketing it uses.

The company uses sponsorship, television, magazine, internet as well as other media to inform people of its products which are attractive enough to entice people to buy. They use catchy slogans that echoes in the mind long after you’ve heard them. Two slogans that were unforgettable in my generation are “Coke adds life” and “Coke is it”. They don’t mind spending billions in advertisements which obviously pays off judging from the enormous growth it has achieved over time. On a personal note, I can’t imagine eating pizza without a matching coke.

A weakness of the company though, is the health issues concerning their products i. e. , it has effects on the teeth, it also has got sugar and being addicted to coca-cola has consequences because it can cause health problems when taken regularly, specially to children.

Gather Information on the External Environment

One opportunity that can be cited is their capacity to extend brands. Coke is the original beverage that the company produced but now, it is responsible for the manufacture and sale of over 33 different Coca-Cola brands.

Another opportunity is innovation of technology like for instance when the company recently embarked on a restructuring exercise to expand further its market share and growth profit. It invested in a new state of the art can filling and packing line at the Apapa plant (2008). The plant has since begun to produce the first soft drink can that is wholly packaged in Nigeria. This is in addition to a new bottling plant in Abuja. Other opportunities include investment in the upgrade of other manufacturing infrastructure, distribution and delivery facilities.

Lastly, I’d like to mention their capability to reach new territories, proven by the fact that they now operate in 28 countries. A big threat for the company would be competitors from the same industry. Just three decades ago, the competitive environment of the carbonated soft drinks industry was based on a recognition of the dominance of the Coca-cola company. Beginning in the 1960s, however, Coca-cola’s dominance has been increasingly challenged, particularly by Pepsi-cola. The new competitive environment was well publicized and intense.

The Cola wars was then declared and the battle continues up to this day, although Coca-cola is apparently on the lead by leaps and bounds. The threat of substitutes, however, is more intimidating. The soft drink industry is very strong, but consumers with changing attitudes and demands are not necessarily married to it. Possible substitute that continuously put pressure on it are tea, coffee, juices, milk, hot chocolate and alternative health drinks like mineral water.

Analysis of Findings

Analyze Your Findings

Comparing all the strengths and weaknesses within the company to the external hreats and opportunities mentioned above, I think the company is in a strong competitive position and it can continue at its current pace successfully as it has done for more than a century now. For one thing, the Coca-Cola bottling system grew up with roots deeply planted in local communities. This heritage serves the Company well today as people seek brands that honor local identity and the distinctiveness of local markets. As was true a century ago, strong locally based relationships between Coca- Cola bottlers, customers and communities are the foundation on which the entire business grows.

Another thing, the company has demonstrated that, despite an erratic economic landscape, uncertain business climate and volatile markets (with threats and all), they are constantly flexing, evolving and innovating – all in an effort to meet the new needs of today’s consumer.

Identify Corporate Level Strategy

Current corporate strategy has emphasized the nonalcoholic beverage market. As the world’s largest manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups, operating in more than 200 countries, the firm supplies many products in addition to its flagship brand.

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A Case Study of Nigeria Bottling Company. (2019, May 01). Retrieved from


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