The Grocer Gold Awards 2011: Branded Supplier of the Year

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Smart alliances drive up Coke sales in 125th year

The soft drinks behemoth receives this award in its 125th anniversary. But that's more a happy coincidence, as buyers commended bottler CCE on its "willingness to take a total view of new ideas in the business" and its "professionalism".

Sales of Coca-Cola were strong, with off-trade sales up 8.3%, to almost £1.1bn, while growth in the energy, sports and on-the go sectors has been impressive.

CCE has also worked hard on cross-selling initiatives in the past year, launching deals with food brands such as Old El Paso last year and a cross-merchandising initiative with Diageo's spirits brands that delivered good returns.

The good work continues. A major TV campaign for Coke Zero helped drive sales up 38% in the first nine weeks of 2011. Roll on next year's Olympics.

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