Coca-Cola Fortune is the result of a merger, on March 1 2002, between the South
African operations of Coca-Cola Sabco and the Kunene family’s Fortune Beverages.
Both bottlers have a proudly South African story.
Coca-Cola Sabco can trace its roots back to the 1930s when an American businessman
set up a Coca-Cola distribution centre in the country. As a result of market demand
for the soft drink, the first bottling plant was opened in Port Elizabeth in June
1940. In October that year, PR Gutsche joined the operation, signalling the start
of an involvement that passed from father to son, and which has endured for more
than six decades. On November 1 1995 what was the SA Bottling Company became Coca-Cola
Sabco and the seven business units, which had existed independently during the apartheid
era, were brought together.
Today Coca-Cola Sabco operates in seven Southern and East African countries and
five Asian countries, and employs more than 9 500 people. It has 25 bottling plants
and serves the refreshment needs of 240 million consumers. Its vision is to be the
best Coca-Cola bottler in the world.
Founded by entrepreneurial businessman, Fortune Kunene in 1978, Fortune Beverages
grew from a small Coca-Cola distribution centre in Vosloorus near Johannesburg into
a significant bottler. At the time of the merger with Coca-Cola Sabco, Fortune Beverages
consisted of two plants and over 600 employees.
The second-largest Coca-Cola bottling and distribution company in South Africa,
Coca-Cola Fortune has bottling plants in Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Port Shepstone,
Polokwane, Nelspruit and Border Kei. In addition, 22 sales centres and 3 600 employees
serve 80% of the country’s land mass, establishing its position as a leader in the
rural and emerging markets. Annual sales volumes exceed 90 million unit cases.