In Nigeria, soft drinks play an essential part in our social and daily life. Besides being the first option of any laborer, it is the go-to drink for all sorts of events here, marriages, corporate events, birthdays, etc. And, the biggest producer of soda drinks in the world is Coca Cola, so you might as well consider partaking in business with this huge company by becoming a Coca Cola distributor.
The distribution of Coca Cola drinks and its other affiliate products (e.g. Fanta, Eva water, etc) is a very marketable business because the demand for soft drinks is not slowing down.
To become a Coca Cola distributor, one has to have a depot where you sell wholesale to retailers like restaurants, hotels, corporate events and of course to shop owners whom will retail the drinks. The supply of drinks usually comes;
- Directly from the bottling companies.
- From the main depots of the coca-cola company.
- From the truck drivers, they often work for major depots so the supply is directly from the coca-cola depot. Their numbers are found pasted at the back of their trucks.
In both cases, one serves as a wholesaler. Please, don’t confuse the supplier with the distributor, according to the coca-cola company the supplier is higher up in the food chain and is responsible for supplying drink ingredients, machines, etc. to the Coca Cola company instead a distributor has a large site for his depot to supply retailers with drinks at wholesale price.
Factors To Consider When Running A Distribution Chain
When running a depot one has to look after all operational aspects of the business, the supply, the delivery, the sale and ultimately the distribution of the drinks. As mentioned earlier the supply to depots are usually from larger more established coca-cola depots or directly from the bottling company. You could offer delivery services where you don’t have to worry, you only need to contact them for the first time and then they would be coming to your door step to deliver the drinks, though there might be delivery costs. Alternatively, one could have his own transport to collect the drinks whenever one needs to.
Another thing is when buying the drinks for the first time you have to pay for the bottles and crates. From then onwards you only pay for the liquid drink and provide the crates with bottles inside them.
Being registered as a company with the CAC is a crucial requirement to obtain the status of a Coca cola distributor/depot, where your supply will be coming directly from the bottling companies with the familiar long red painted trucks off loading in front of the depot.
The Space of the Depot
Adjoining multiple small shops won’t cut it, you need a very big space preferably one that is specifically built for the purpose of storage of the drinks. It should have a parking area that could accommodate at least one long truck or two small ones and enough space in front of the storage facility/store for the movement of workers when hauling crates to and fro.
Minimum space requirement for the store is 104 meter cube in volume, that is about a 16 meters long and 3 meters wide building excluding the front space and parking area. Just enough to collect the contents of one long coca cola truck.
Handling of Crates
This is a very delicate exercise as you do not want broken bottles because one has to pay again to obtain new ones.
Handing of Receipts
Selling anything in large quantities might solicit a request for a receipt because sometimes the buyers are from big corporations and everything has to be accounted for. Make sure you make a provision for a receipt booklet by contacting a printer to do print that for you.
List of Required Items
The major things really to consider are the space for the store and the drinks, whereby for first time buyers as mentioned earlier you have to buy crate, bottle and the liquid drink, and of course you will need a generator for lighting. While we are still on the subject of drinks don’t forget you are getting different crate sizes and different drink types, like canned drinks, 35cl bottles, 50cl bottles, etc.