ATLANTA -- The Coca-Cola Co. is partnering with Cargo, an in-car commerce platform for the ride-hailing economy, to offer beverages to passengers in Cargo-equipped vehicles across the United States.
The partnership marks Cargo’s launch in Atlanta, the company’s first expansion into the Southeastern United States.
The Atlanta launch marks the first time Coca-Cola and Cargo have partnered to promote the beverage giant’s brands in ride-hailing vehicles at scale. Atlanta passengers will see smartwater offered alongside other products in Cargo’s display box, such as RxBar, Sour Patch Kids and phone chargers. Passengers can order their smartwater or other product in car through Cargo’s digital menu (www.cargo.menu) on their smartphone. To order, passengers enter their driver’s box code, select their desired product and hit the check-out button. Once the vehicle comes to a safe stop, the driver will give the passenger their products.
"We’re very excited to enter this new distribution channel in ride-share with Cargo," said John Carroll, vice president and general manager of ecommerce for Coca-Cola. "Cargo offers an innovative solution to helping Coca-Cola deliver refreshment to consumers in their moment of need in a space that was previously hard to reach at scale. We’re looking forward to seeing the impact we have on ride-share passengers when they find our product within arm’s reach when using Uber and Lyft."
After successful introductions in New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, the Atlanta launch is the next step in Cargo’s nationwide expansion plan for 2018. Cargo’s debut will allow local drivers to earn up to $500 more per month in commissions, referrals and performance bonuses, the company said.
Products available through Cargo include buzzworthy items such as hangover cures, trendy Korean face masks and all-natural protein bars. For brands, Cargo is the only scalable, data-driven in-car solution for reaching millennial and Generation Z audiences, who avidly use ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft, the company said.
"Passengers are at the heart of our merchandising strategy, and our goal is to provide a premium mix of products that are unique and engaging for everyone, whether they are heading to the airport, the office or out for the night," said Sabina Rahaman, head of brand partnerships and merchandising for Cargo. "We’re excited to continue building strong partnerships with brands across the beauty, snacking, beverage, and electronics categories to bring the in-car experience to the next level."
Coca-Cola Co. is not the first beverage maker to partner with Cargo. In February, Cargo launched an in-car product sampling campaign in Minnesota with Red Bull, just in time for the Red Bull Crashed Ice race and the Super Bowl.
The promotion put products such as Red Bull directly in the hands of millennials and Generation Z, frequent ride-share users, according to the company. For a limited time, tens of thousands of passengers in Cargo-equipped cars received a complimentary Red Bull on their way to the football game or the after-party.