By Conor White
The Coca-Cola Company has a market cap of nearly $190 billion, but the beverage behemoth still considers itself a small business. The largest small business in America, in fact.
At least that's how Caren Pasquale Seckler, vice president of social commitment at Coca-Cola sees it. "Part of who we are, is that we are extremely local," she explained. "We have 90,000 employees across the country, in every community in the country, through ourselves, our company, as well as our family of independent bottlers. So, we are literally a part of the community."
Among its social initiatives, Coca-Cola is launching the "Dear Future Community Challenge," encouraging 18-24 year olds to submit proposals on how to tackle community-specific problems. Seventeen winners will be chosen, and rewarded with a $30,000 grant to fund their visions.
Coca-Cola's involvement at the local level is just one detail that most consumers, and even some associates, aren't familiar with, Seckler said. In an interview Tuesday on Cheddar, she explained why it's so important for the company to share its story with the world.
"Consumers are demanding to know more," said Seckler. "So when we spoke to our consumers, they just didn't really know what we stood for, they didn't know what the company stood for, and they expected to know more."
It's no surprise that The Coca-Cola Company's decision to open its proverbial doors comes in the same era as the rise of social media.
"Young people appreciate authenticity and transparency and humility, and frankly that's who we are," explained Seckler. "We've been doing good things for 132 years, and we're just now starting to talk about it."
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