The past couple of weeks revealed some interesting news about beverage giant Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), restaurant chain Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), and theme park and entertainment company SeaWorld (NYSE:SEAS). Let's check out the latest moves and see what Foolish investors can take away from each release. 

Coca-Cola's emerging markets expansion

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Source: Motley Fool Flickr by Ben Popkins

Emerging economies fared well for Coca-Cola over the past five years (see table below) as people in those regions tasted Coca-Cola for the first time.

Coca Cola Total Unit Case Volume Change

Year

Asia-Pacific Volume Change

Eurasia and Africa

Europe

Latin America

North America

YTD 2014 

7%

2%

-4%

1%

0%

2013 

3%

7%

-1%

1%

0%

2012 

7%

10%

-1%

5%

2%

2011 

5%

6%

2%

6%

4%

2010 

6%

12%

0%

5%

2%

2009 

7%

4%

-1%

6%

-2%

Source: SEC Filings

According to The Economic Times, India (part of Coca-Cola's Asia-Pacific segment) overtook Germany as the sixth largest market for Coca-Cola. India now comprises 12% of Coca-Cola's Asia-Pacific sales, according to the website. Per capita consumption of Coca-Cola in India registered at 14 versus 94 globally, meaning that the growth potential for that region remains huge. The article goes on to explain that the Coke, Sprite, Fanta, and Thums Up brands comprise 56%-57% of India's soda market. 

Moreover, with the understanding that demand exists in the underpenetrated Chinese market, Coca-Cola decided to invest $4 billion in a plant in Northern China according to China Retail News. Coca-Cola executives maintain that China represents the third largest market for Coca-Cola. With a per capita consumption of 39 versus 94 globally , China also represents a country with a great deal of growth potential. 

Coca-Cola teams up with SeaWorld
Last week, SeaWorld unveiled a plastic cup based on Coca-Cola's PET technology made up of natural sugars derived from plants. SeaWorld hopes that this will serve as a draw for environmentally conscious consumers.  SeaWorld needs all of the help that it can get with year-over-year growth rates in revenue declining steadily over the past three years; this included an 11% decline in the most recent quarter, according to Morningstar.  

Starbucks innovates yet again

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Source: Starbucks News

Starbucks likes to keep the consumer and public hopping with new products and positive public relations. On July 11, the company introduced two new products lines: the Brew to Personalize iced coffee line and the Blended Yogurt Frappuccino in Europe.

Customers who buy the Brew to Personalize  iced coffee product can customize the product by adding their own levels of milk and sugar. It essentially comes in three flavors: lightly sweetened, unsweetened, and caramel. Brew to Personalize represents Starbucks' latest effort to expand on its consumer products group (CPG) division.

Starbucks' CEO Howard Shultz expressed concern in the past about the effects of online shopping on consumer purchase patterns in its restaurants.  In the future, people may want to purchase products from online grocers due to economic and time restraints. This change in consumer purchasing patterns may explain why CPG revenue increased from 4% to 12% over the past five years. 

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Source: Starbucks News

The Blended Yogurt Frappuccino represents a response to the 15th anniversary of the Frappuccino in the United Kingdom. Starbucks wanted to add yogurt to the Frappuccino in an effort to spur further consumer interest in the product line. The yogurt will come in two different flavors: red berry and banana.

Foolish takeaway
It's safe to say that the largest portion of any carbonated soda expansion for Coca-Cola will come from overseas. However, it should be noted that people from all over the world are increasing their education on the health effects of long-term sugar consumption. This could serve as drag against growth even in emerging markets.

SeaWorld needs a great deal more than eco-friendly cups to draw more customers in.

Starbucks will no doubt continue to innovate not only in products, but in public relations and distribution channels as well. Look for Starbucks to sell more of its products via retailers and online channels over time. 

 

William Bias owns shares of Coca-Cola and Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Starbucks and has the following options: long January 2016 $37 calls on Coca-Cola and short January 2016 $37 puts on Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.