Coca-Cola is ending its juice and smoothie brand Odwalla at the end of July, according to reports by CNN and the Wall Street Journal. A refrigerated trucking network that supplies fresh drinks to retail stores will be coincidingly discontinued.
The reports said Coca-Cola’s chilled delivery network has about 230 trucks that also distribute Simply orange juice and single-serve Fairfield milk. All of those trucks will be sold, and the company will find alternative options for delivering those products.
CNN quoted an email from John Hackett, Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid unit president saying the call was made “given a rapidly shifting marketplace and despite every effort to support continued production.” Minute Maid encompasses Coca-Cola’s juice brands. “This decision was not made lightly,” he added.
Acquired in 2001, Odwalla will be one of the largest brands Coke has eliminated in recent years. The Wall Street Journal said the move will cut about 300 jobs. Coke will cease delivering Odwalla to stores by the end of the month and will pick up unsold inventory through August.
CNN cited a spokesperson saying the decision is not directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, rather health-conscious consumers have become less interested in smoothies.