If Coke decides to stay independent, Musso thinks Coke should target snack giant Mondelez (MDLZ) , the maker of Oreo, Triscuit and Chips Ahoy!, as a possible acquisition that could help it compete with PepsiCo.
"Mondelez has a number of brands that would complement Coke," Musso said.
Sandy Rubinstein, CEO of digital marketing and advertising agency DXagency, said she's a long-time Coke consumer and would like to see more from the company. DXagency provides services to major players in the snack food industry like Welch Foods.
"As a Coke consumer, I want them to give me more," Rubenstein said. Putting acquisitions aside, she said Coke can leverage its own brands like Minutemaid to make snack products, possibly breakfast bars or smoothie mixes.
"Coke and Pepsi are both world renowned, billion dollar brands," Rubenstein said. "The real differentiator is that Pepsi has diversified its portfolio, which is tremendous given the downturn in the sugar industry." The downturn in sales of sugary soda has been severe, and has weighed on Coke's mostly soda driven business. Sales of soda drinks fell by 1.2% in the U.S. in 2016, marking the 12th straight year of declines, according to trade publication Beverage Digest.
Still, Quincey is seen by Wall Street as a leader who can truly transform the Coca-Cola brand. The former COO led Coke's recent transition away from sugary beverages, amid a general consumer shift to healthier food options, and said on the company's recent earnings call that he will be focused on driving growth for brands such as Honest Tea and Powerade.
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