The company sketched out the plans at a virtual briefing for trade press on 18 December. Stephen Moorhouse, general manager, CCEP GB, said a lot of its innovation would concentrate on focusing back on core products: "The core is really there for us in Coke trademark, flavours, sparkling, mixers, energy. You're going to keep seeing a lot of that driving growth. Costa and ready-to-drink really is an opportunity for us. I think we'll see the core drive there, but then the opportunities will come around NPD.
"Is this a year to stop innovation? We have seen a lot of retailers cut SKU [stock keeping unit] counts and their availability, but I think you'll see some select innovation."
Moorhouse said he believed sales of large sharing packs would stay strong at least for the first half of 2021. However, he expected the pent-up desire for consumers to spend lavishly on out-of-home occasions would return in the second half of the year.
Referring to Topo Chico Hard Selzer, the alcohol brand which CCEP announced earlier this year it would roll out across Europe, Moorhouse said: "You'll start seeing that in GB early next year through retail and then throughout." The brand is already available through online retailers such as Ocado, but the suggestion is it will expand through mainstream retail channels from the New Year.
Rob Harris, CCEP vice president of sales added: "Energy is the first thing that has recovered fastest. The young, adult male consumer group that energy targets has been far more open to going into away-from-home outlets and convenience and we'll be doing more NPD next year to support that energy performance."
Commenting on other predictions for 2021, Julian Hunt, vice president, public affairs and communications, CCEP GB, said tackling obesity continued to be a Government priority. "Everyone on today's broadcast will be aware that the Government in Westminster in particular has really refocused on the need for a coherent obesity strategy, driven in part by learnings through the early days of the COVID pandemic.
"Obesity has become a really important part of their policy agenda and there's a whole raft of initiatives that are coming towards the industry at some pace through next year. Details still a little bit vague, but they'll be looking at restrictions on promotions, restrictions on where certain products can be placed and marketed in retail outlets, advertising and online marketing restrictions, so it's a big agenda.
"I think soft drinks and our business in particular - I wouldn't say are well-placed but we have opportunities within that on the back of all the sugar reduction work we have done over the last four or five years. I know all of you will be aware of our efforts. They will continue next year, but two thirds of our volume of what we sell is now low- or no-sugar and we think there will be opportunities for all those products, even within the really strict regulatory framework we may find ourselves operating in as a total industry through the back end of next year into 2022."
Hunt said CCEP's work on environmental projects would continue next year. Earlier this month, the business announced its commitment to reaching net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its entire value chain by 2040. As part of this, it declared its ambition to cut absolute GHG emissions across its value chain by 30% by 2030.
The company announced on 21 September that 50% of plastic packaging in its core portfolio was now from recycled sources. That equated to plastic packaging of Coca-Cola Original Taste, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Schweppes Sparkling Mixers, Oasis, & Powerade.