The Coca-Cola Company is joining a growing number of brands dipping their toes into selling — or sampling — their products in rideshare cars.
Coca-Cola has signed with in-car commerce platform Cargo, starting with sampling of its Glaceau Smartwater in Uber and Lyft cars serving its headquarters market of Atlanta.
Atlanta is a new market for Cargo, and its first in the Southeast. The company, which launched in June 2017, already serves New York, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C.., and Baltimore. It says it plans to use a new round of $5.5 million in venture funding to expand into more markets this year, to reach about 25 million passengers across 20,000 vehicles in total.
RxBar, whose parent company was acquired last September by The Kellogg Company, also signed with Cargo for in-car distribution in Atlanta.
Some of the other snack brands available in cars in some markets include Sour Patch Kids, Extra, Altoids, BelVita, Clif Bars and Goodness Knows. Other typical convenience products available are phone chargers and headache and hangover remedies.
Drivers can opt to earn additional money by putting one of the product displays on the center console of their cars, at no cost to them. They receive a 25% commission on each sale, plus a $1 base for each passenger that buys something, according to Atlanta Business Journal.
To use the system, passengers use their mobile phones to go to Cargo’s mobile menu URL, type in the ID number on the display in the car (each display has a unique ID), browse the menu, and pay with a credit card or mobile payment option. For safety, drivers must stop the car in order to dispense the item to the passenger.
Brands are, of course, increasingly eager to drive growth through distribution channels outside of traditional brick-and-mortar. Many CPG makers are investing heavily in developing direct-to-consumer e-commerce businesses and selling through online marketplaces.
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