Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United is a privately-owned regional distributor of products made under license from the Coca-Cola Company. It is headquartered at 4600 East Lake Boulevard, near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The CEO is Mike Suco.
The company was founded in 1902 as the Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Company by Crawford Johnson, who obtained the territory rights from the Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company. He established an office in a row of saloons at 109 24th Street North with one employee, Sam Whitt, and one mule, Sara.
In 1915 Birmingham served as the test market for the now-familiar contoured bottle which became the company's trade mark. By 1916 Birmingham Coca-Cola was the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world, and it was said that, "the firm employed six men who did nothing but count the money and take it to the bank."
After his sons, Crawford Jr and Allen joined the firm in the 1920s, the senior Crawford began acquiring additional franchises in nearby markets. When his sons volunteered for military service in World War II, Crawford Sr resumed his role actively managing the company. When he died in 1942 his widow, Caroline took his place for the remainder of the war.
Crawford Johnson III reorganized the various territories under the name Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United in 1974. Chairman Claude Nielsen and CEO John Sherman came to the company in the 1990s and have led significant further expansion. Mike Suco succeeded Sherman as CEO in 2022.
The company now operates three production facilities and 20 distribution centers, employing nearly 10,000 people and earning revenues of $1.2 billion in 2016. After aggressive expansion in 2015-2017, it has become the third-largest Coca-Cola bottling company in North America. The company distributes more than 750 products across most of Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia, and parts of Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina.
In 2020 Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United opened an $86M sales and distribution center in south metro Atlanta, and began construction of a $60 million sales and distribution center in Tifton, Georgia. In 2022 the company moved some of its accounts services staff from Beacon Ridge Tower to a smaller space at 200 Wildwood Parkway in the Patriot Midtown Park office park as many employees had transitioned to work from home.
- Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Cullman Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Dothan Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Evergreen Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Mobile Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Montgomery Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Oxford Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Scottsboro Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Tuscaloosa Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- West Alabama Coca-Cola Bottling Company (Carbon Hill)
- Pensacola Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Valparaiso Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Augusta Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Brunswick Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- McRae Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Milledgeville Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Savannah Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Statesboro Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Waycross Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- West Point Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Lafayette Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Lake Charles Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Gulfport Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Hattiesburg Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- McComb Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Spartanburg Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company
- Phillips, Ryan (December 9, 2015) "Behind the deal: What Coca-Cola Bottling Co.'s Georgia expansion means for Bham." Birmingham Business Journal
- Rebman, Stephanie (May 2, 2017) "A look inside Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United's Atlanta acquisition." Birmingham Business Journal
- Rebman, Stephanie (October 2, 2017) "Coca-Cola United acquires 10 more new territories, eyes possible $50M project in Bham." Birmingham Business Journal
- Rebman, Stephanie (February 3, 2020) "Birmingham manufacturer opens $86M sales center." Birmingham Business Journal
- Rebman, Stephanie (January 31, 2022) "Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United relocates office space to Patriot Park." Birmingham Business Journal
- Rebman, Stephanie (January 31, 2022) "Large Birmingham manufacturer names new president, CEO." Birmingham Business Journal
- Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United website