Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at Coca-Cola
Thanks, Tim. And good morning, everyone. After a strong first half of the year, we saw continued momentum in our business in the third quarter. While the global recovery remains asynchronous, our people and our system are leveraging the learning that deliver good results and emerge stronger. And while markets are at different stages of reopening around the world, our local businesses have been increasingly resilient through restrictions and lock-downs.
As a result, our underlying volumes have accelerated on a two-year basis with quarterly growth versus 2019 for the first time since the pandemic began. This improvement has been supported by our transformation agenda, which set us on a path to more efficient and effective marketing, as well as more disciplined and intelligent innovation. We are investing accordingly behind our portfolio of loved brands and are seeing signs of early traction. Given strong results year-to-date, and increased visibility into the rest of the year, we expect to deliver organic revenue at the high end of our previously provided range and our raising bottom line and cash flow guidance for the full year. This morning, I'll provide a business update and discuss how our network organization is executing well in this dynamic environment. Then, John will discuss our financials and raised guidance and some early considerations for 2022.
In the first half of 2021, mobility and business levels improved in many markets, as lock-downs eased and vaccinations increased. The recovery has not been a straight-line, and continues to be uneven around the world. But despite the asynchronous recovery, in the third quarter, our volumes surpassed 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic began. Although not yet back to 2019 levels as a percent of our business, we saw sequential improvement in away from home volumes on a two-year basis, as consumers return to many of their former routines. At-home volumes also showed ongoing strength even as away-from-home channels improve.
The quarter was off to a promising start in July, but the Delta variant impacted several markets, resulting in a softer August, followed by improvement in September, as began the lessons in some of our key markets. The pandemic continues to be a key factor across our operating environment, in addition to the ongoing pressure points in our supply chain. However, our network system is leveraging the learning's from the past 18 months, sharing best practices and skillfully executing by applying revenue growth management, and working as supply chain leavers to capitalize on the strength of our brands and mitigate disruptions. The industry is growing and we continue to gain shares.
Our overall value share improved year-on-year, and remains above 2019 levels. We're pleased to report gains across categories, as well as both within at home and away from home channels. Our operating units are combining the power of scale with a deep knowledge required to win locally in an environment that remains dynamic. So diving a little into the key drivers across geographies, starting with Asia-Pacific.
In China, media investments across categories are yielding promising signs. Results in the quarter reflects strict COVID lockdowns on some weather-related disruption in August, while September month sequential improvements. Japan state of emergency was lifted at the end of the quarter after consumers spent the majority of 2021 in lock-down. Strengthened execution across our teams and innovation has helped lessen impacts, and our consumer base has grown beyond 2019 levels. In India, we participated strongly in the recovery by focusing on affordability and omni-channel growth through e-B2B. We grew both trademark company and local I-com thumbs-up using effective marketing activations. We had share gains in Asian and the South Pacific Operating Unit, despite pandemic-related restrictions in all of its top markets. Our investments behind Sparkling flavors and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, will continue to create value when lock-downs are lifted.
In EMEA, in Europe, we gained value share across nearly all categories as restrictions eased, while weather, a slower recovery in tourism, and the delta surge had an impact on global campaigns to key brands including Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Sprite, and Fanta helped drive sparkling share. As vaccinations accelerated in Eurasia and the Middle East, we maintained momentum through effective revenue growth management initiatives, resulting in top-line that expanded faster than the macro environment in those top markets. Our results in Africa were balanced across regions and categories during this quarter, despite a third wave of the pandemic that resulted in targeted lockdowns.
Vaccination rates remained on the low side relative to the rest of the world. And our focus remains on affordability and single-serve packs as mobility increases in countries like Egypt and Nigeria. We maintained strong momentum in North America despite the COVID resurgence in many states leading to stalling consumer sentiment and supply chain challenges that resulted in both missed opportunities and incremental costs. The at-home channel remains healthy, and although away-from-home growth accelerated early in the quarter, labor shareholder duties have constrained capacity with some on-premise customers. Recent price actions to offset higher input costs have been effective with lower-than-expected price elasticities to date, and promotional levels remain below 2019.
In Latin America, successful commercial initiatives, including affordability packs, increased availability of our key products, and strong customer execution in both modern and traditional trade, drove volume growth across all major markets improving COVID environment. Improvement in single-serve makes, some pricing actions, and connecting brands strategies to on-premise customers to drive further recovery in the away-from-home channel all contributed to strong prospects. Within Global Ventures, cost of benefit is from retail store recovery as the U.K. re-opens. With improved reach and frequency from it's enhanced loyalty program continues to expand across platforms into new markets in partnership with our bottlers resulting in growing brand awareness.
Our Bottling Investments Group performance was driven by India and the Philippines. BIG saw strict lockdowns in several markets, as well as rising inflation, but has continued to see share gains year-to-date in South Africa. Adverse impacts have been well-managed through package and category mix improvements along with cost controls preserving progress on our operating margins during the pandemic.
Global category teams are working with our operating units to build an engine to drive effective marketing scale and innovation, which we amplified across the world. Highlights from this quarter include Coca-Cola Zero Sugar new recipe has rolled out in more than 50 countries and has had accelerated growth in the last three months. In September, trademark Coca-Cola NUVO global brand philosophy real magic was unveiled featuring a refresh look for iconic logo, the Hug. The real magic platform takes a digital first approach and our executions feature a range of experiences that are tailored to Gen Z and leverage passion points like gaming and music to attract a new generation of drinkers. Sparkling flavors gained share in the quarter driven by investments in targeted brand country combinations with a focus on occasions and Zero Sugar offerings. In China, Sprite volume growth was accelerated by leveraging the global left big clear campaign during summer music festivals. Similarly, the 'What The Fanta' campaign focuses on snacking, and is driving growth across all key metrics in Europe.
The hydration sports, tea and coffee categories are seeing a good return on spend behind Global Brands expansion into new markets this year, has shown flexibility to adapt to local customer and consumer needs. In Advanced hydration, functional benefits have helped the stretch brand power and drive share for Aquarius, as it becomes more of a global brand. Tea and coffee have had success with FUZE tea in Europe on both Ayataka and Costa, ready-to-drink in Japan. There is an opportunity to recover share in Georgia coffee as the at work occasion returns.
At juice portfolio, Gainshare this quarter helped by Minute Maid Pulpy performance in China [Indecipherable] via growth in Latin America, and strong results across brands in Africa. In dairy, Fairlife is set to become the first billion dollar brand in our dairy portfolio and has recently launched its joint venture in China. Our experimentation with Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is expanding and we're gathering valuable insights globally, including the importance of building the category in regions where it is nascent. We are seeing encouraging performance where the flavored alcoholic beverage category is growing rapidly, and we have on-shelf presence. Molson Coors recently announced the national roll out of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in the U.S. with new Margarita flavors.
We also recently announced an expansion of our relationship with Molson Coors to bring the brand into Canada. As the pandemic recovery has progressed, we've seen challenges and disruptions in many parts of the world, in addition to inflationary forces that could persist. We have years of experience in dealing with these types of environments, and are enhancing our strong capabilities that enable us to do so. We are using the crucial tool of Revenue Growth Management in its many forms, and are executing in collaboration with our bottling partners. We continue to refine our ability to optimize price and package offerings, according to occasions, brands, and channels, striking the right balance between premiumization and affordability. In addition to streamlining our portfolio, targeting more disciplined innovation, intelligent experimentation, and transforming our marketing model, we're also building strong digital capabilities.
We have taken an enterprise approach and are progressing on the roll out of multi-category Ebb3 platforms with our bottlers globally. As an example, what are you seeing is strong growth outside home market of Latin America, and that's more than 50 categories contributing meaningfully to it's sales on the platform. Additionally, we are delivering outsized growth with powerful, and growing omni-channel presence across regions. We're driving incremental instance with partners like foodservice aggregators. North America, for example, has grown attachment rates by mid-single digits with third-party and restaurant owned platforms. And we're gaining share in e-commerce, with significant wins in Eurasia and hitting record levels in Latin America this quarter.
I'll also like to reiterate the sustainability is an integral part of our business strategy and it's a key driver of future growth. For 2018 when we launched World Without Waste to today, we've made much progress against our pillars to design, collect, and partner to deliver against our goals. Our commitment to reduce waste globally is also closely connected to our climate ambitions, collecting more empty packages, using more recycled material, light-weighting our bottles, and using plant-based materials always we are embracing the collective efforts to decarbonize the global economy. We strive to provide stakeholders with clear progress against our goals through our annual business in ESG report and World Without Waste report, including using the Global Reporting Initiative, SASB, and TCFD reporting frameworks, as well as disclosures through other publicly available avenues like CDP and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
We continuously revisit our ESG reporting and disclosures to ensure our leadership position. We do not take our responsibility lightly, and we carefully and thoroughly long-term objectives with our system partners, and only commit to new goals with a clear, actionable plan. To ensure we remain transparent on responses to this evolving landscape, we'd like to invite you to join us for our virtual ESG event on November the 3rd, where key business and sustainability leaders will provide an update on our initiatives, and answer your questions. As we look at our year-to-date performances in the system, it's clear that we are emerging stronger from the pandemic, delivering solid results under more network structure.
Now, I'll turn the call to John, to discuss our third quarter results, our updated outlook, and some initial thoughts about 2022.