Muhtar Kent, chair and chief executive of the Coca-Cola Company, writes that today’s market is much like the one back when he joined the company in 1970. Recession, growth of an emerging market (then Japan), and the rising oil prices caused people to worry that the U.S. might get left behind.

English: Globe icon.

Instead, the U.S. market bounced back and Kent thinks other countries can do the same if they understand five mega-trends that influence customers.

  1. Mass Urbanization: By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, creating supply chain and logistical challenges.
  2. Consumer Aging: The world population is aging as people live longer and fewer new people are born. Home delivery will be necessary to accommodate.
  3. Middle Class Growth: Emerging markets will soon have 90% of the world’s middle class. This will be a huge opportunity and a stress on new resources and costs for commodities.
  4. Consumers in Charge: As more and more consumers use digital technology to interact with brands and purchase products, companies must follow their lead and provide dynamic ways to serve them.
  5. Sustainability: Companies need to think about sustainability not just for PR but also for the bottom line.


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