Coca-Cola History

We have a strong Coca-Cola heritage that dates back to the earliest days of Coca-Cola bottling in the late 19th century.

In 1899, two Chattanooga businessmen secured exclusive rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola for most of the United States. Recognising the need to create a bottler network, Benjamin F. Thomas and Joseph B. Whitehead, with the support of Chattanooga businessman John T. Lupton, began granting other entrepreneurs bottling franchise rights.

The first franchise began operations in 1901, serving parts of Tennessee and other nearby locations under the ownership of Mr. Thomas and James F. Johnston, grandfather of former Coca-Cola Enterprises Chairman of the Board, Summerfield K. Johnston, Jr. In the early 1980s, Mr. Johnston helped initiate a phase of consolidation designed to improve system efficiency and effectiveness.


Modern era

In 1986, The Coca-Cola Company merged some of its company-owned operations with two large ownership groups that were for sale - the John T. Lupton franchises and BCI Holding Corporation's bottling holdings - forming Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE). CCE becomes a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

In December 1991, a merger between Coca-Cola Enterprises and the Johnston Coca-Cola Bottling Group, Inc. created a larger, stronger organisation with Johnston's senior management team assuming management responsibilities.

Coca-Cola Enterprises first began operations in Europe in 1993 with the purchase of bottling rights in the Netherlands. A significant European expansion began in 1996 and 1997 with the acquisition of bottling rights in Belgium, France, and Great Britain. Luxembourg was acquired in 1998, and Monaco in 1999.

In 2010 CCE completed a significant transaction with The Coca-Cola Company, which acquired all of CCE's North American territory. CCE retained its European territories and also acquired bottling rights in Norway and Sweden.

In 2016 CCEP was formed through the merger of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., Coca-Cola Iberian Partners SAU, and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke GmbH. CCEP is the worlds’ largest independent bottler and makes, sells and distributes non-alcoholic drinks to 300 million people in 13 countries. These are: Andorra, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Luxemburg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.



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