History

History of Coca-Cola’s presence in Poland

History 1957

1957

Coca-Cola came to Poland for the first time ever during the Poznań Fair in 1957. Then it appeared in the 1960s, initially in the accounts of Poles who were able to cross the Western border, then in Pewex and Baltona stores, where it was available for convertible currencies. The youngest generation cannot remember it, but in those times it was a synonym for luxury and freedom.

1972

It was not until 1971, during Edward Gierek’s rule, that a representative of The Coca-Cola Company came from Rome for negotiations. Coca-Cola production was launched in Warsaw in July 1972. Coca-Cola was then manufactured under licence agreement by the Warsaw-based brewing plant. It was soon joined by the breweries in Zabrze (since 1973) and Tychy (since 1978).

History 1972

In October 1972, the Wołomin glassworks started producing first bottles, and the ERK plastic works inBieluń Stary started producing special 24-slot cases.


History 1976-90


1976-1990

The demand for Coca-Cola exceededexpectations. In 1976 the annual production volume reached 176hectolitres. And it was not surprising really since the newspapers ransuch stories:


„As of yesterday one can buy 1-litreCoca-Cola bottles at Supersam and delicatessen stores in Warsaw. Theprice is 19 zloty per bottle and the deposit is 8 zloty”, the ŻycieWarsawy daily reported on 25 May, 1976.
The new beverage soon became popularin the so-called avant-garde circles. Its rising popularity was alsospearheaded by the “Coca-Cola is it” slogan developed by AgnieszkaOsiecka in 1982.

1991

One had to wait until 1991 forCoca-Cola’s first direct investment in Poland. The first Coca-ColaPoland office was set up in the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsawin 1991. Initially the company employed only 15 people.

And no wonder, since the market forcarbonated refreshment drinks was underdeveloped at that time. Theaverage annual consumption of Coca-Cola beverages amounted to just 0.8litres per head.  By 2008 the figure rose to over 25.5 litres per head.

History 1991

1991 – 1992

The papers were full of reports about massive investments of the US-based corporation Coca-Cola, perceived as confirmation of the country’s economy becoming a stable one. Six companies operating in various regions of Poland were set up:
History 1992

  • Coca-Cola Poland Ltd. (Radzymin), with branches in Gdynia and Niepołomice, owned by The Coca-Cola Company;
  • Warszawa Coca-Cola Bottlers Ltd. (Warszawa), a joint venture of the Norwegian company Ringness and The Coca-Cola Export Corporation;
  • Coca-Cola West Poland Sp. z o. o. (Środa Śląska), with a branch in Poznań, owned by the German company Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetraenke GmbH;
  • Bydgoszcz Coca-Cola Bottlers Ltd. (Bydgoszcz), a joint venture of the Norwegian company Ringness and a local company Pubrex;
  • Łódź Coca-Cola Bottlers Ltd. (Łódź), a joint venture of the Austrian company Brau-Beteiligung AG and the German group Marszalkowski;
  • Lublin Coca-Cola Bottlers (Lublin), owned by the Norwegian company Ringness;


1992

At the same Coca-Cola substantially expanded its product range. The production of Fanta and Sprite beverages was launched. Also in 1992, a production line for cans and 2-litre plastic bottles was launched at a newly opened plant in Radzymin.

1995-1996

The assets of the six above mentioned companies, as well as production and distribution rights in Poland were acquired by the Australian company Coca-Cola Amatil, a key Coca-Cola bottler. However, all six companies continued to operate as separate legal entities.

1998

In July 1998, Coca-Cola Amatil was split and Coca-Cola Beverages was established. The latter became the owner of all six companies in Poland.
A month later, six independent companies were consolidated into Coca Cola Beverages Polska sp. z o. o.

2000

As a result of the merger of Coca-Cola Beverages, Hellenic Bottling Company and Molino, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company was formed; the latter automatically became the owner of the consolidated company Coca-Cola Beverages Polska.
Coca-Cola Hellenic logo

2004

In October 2004 the Polish company changed name to Coca-Cola HBC Polska Sp. z o.o.


Th
e history of Coca-Cola is a true example of the „American dream”. The beverage initially sold by a pharmacist in glasses at 5 cents each, became after 124 years the best-recognised brand worldwide, which can be found in almost any corner of the globe. If you want to learn more about the history of the Coca-Cola beverage.