Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Coca-Cola
Thanks, Tim, and good morning, everyone. Today, I'd like to reflect on the past year and how we've emerged stronger from the pandemic, including positive performance in the fourth quarter. I'll also highlight the broader macro environment and how we're executing in the marketplace. Finally, I will touch briefly on the accelerators for growth that give us confidence we can achieve the 2022 guidance we've provided today with more on that to come at CAGNY later this month.
John will then discuss financial results for the quarter and our outlook in more detail. But before I get through, I'd like to acknowledge that our ability to emerge stronger would not have been possible without the efforts of our dedicated employees and system partners around the world. And I'd like to thank them for their hard work, their contribution not only to our results, but to our curious, empowered, inclusive and agile culture.
In 2021, the operating environment remained dynamic. As the pandemic continue to evolve and factors like inflation and supply chain disruptions brought additional challenges. But over the year, our organization and the system continue to manage through these circumstances with focus and flexibility. We are pleased with the results which were above 2019 across key metrics and we remain focused on building a stronger total beverage company. Now looking more closely at our fourth-quarter results. We saw another quarter of sequential improvement versus 2019 and we ended the year with volume ahead of 2019. Notably, it was the first quarter in which away-from-home volume was also ahead of 2019, while at-home channels remain strong.
So, recapping the quarter four performance around the world starting with Asia Pacific. China delivered strong performance in the quarter by capturing a growing trend among consumers with zero-calorie offerings, we doubled our Zero Sugar sparkling portfolio in terms of volume compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. We leveraged RGM strategies and targeting investments to gain share in e-commerce thus driving growth for the overall business.
In India, initiatives to build omnichannel presence and marketing campaigns around key occasions by leveraging festivals and passion points through occasion-led marketing and interactive execution drove a sequential increase in market share and nearly 30% growth in transactions for the quarter. Additionally, our local Thumbs Up brand became $1 billion brand in India, driven by focused marketing and execution plans. In Japan, while our system was faced with a very challenging year we gained value share and consumers, driven by successful innovation and commercial strategies.
In ASEAN and South Pacific there was strict restrictions and limited re-openings in many markets for large part of the year. In Q4, acceleration of vaccine efforts and strong results from the Fanta Colorful People and Sprite Made to Hear [Phonetic] campaigns help drive our recovery. In EMEA, volume in Europe in the quarter surpassed 2019 despite mobility restrictions, particularly in Western Europe. Despite the recovery remaining asynchronous in the region, increasing investments behind our brands in the marketplace resulted in our system driving the highest incremental retail value among FMCG players in the region.
In Africa, volume continued to be ahead of 2019 in the fourth quarter, driven by our key markets with strong double-digit growth in Nigeria and Egypt. Additionally, increased investments behind our affordability, our multi-serve packages drove value share for the full year above 2019 in the region. In Eurasia and Middle East, the top-line continue to expand faster than the macro environment, driven by strong revenue growth management, execution, and digital abilities.
Turkey, one of our key markets grew 7 points of value share for the year in digital as total digital commerce expanded by close to 90%. In North America, despite COVID cases leading to business closings and some mobility restrictions value share growth was strong in the quarter, driven by pricing, revenue growth management, and strong execution in the market. The new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar continue to deliver strong results outpacing category growth, while Sprite and smartwater grew drinker base and buy rates. Innovation also delivered strong performances led by Coke with Coffee and Simply Almond.
Latin America delivered another quarter of strong performance with mid-single-digit volume growth versus 2019. This resilience of the system has been driven by years of experience navigating volatile environments through strong and effective execution. Within Global Ventures Costa continue to recover through the year, but was impacted in Q4 due to COVID-related restrictions. Costa Express continued its strong performance in the U.K. delivering results ahead of expectations. In China, the Costa ready-to-drink expansion continued its availability now in more than 300,000 outlets, continue to drive a share position ahead of our fiers competitor.
Finally, our Bottling Investment group continue to focus on productivity and transformation initiatives, delivering strong operating margin expansion for full-year 2021. Due to improved mobility throughout the year, our industry is growing in both volume and value. Gaining share is a key objective in our emerging stronger agenda and this year we gained value share in both at-home and away-from-home channels. Our NARTD market share is above 2019 levels, at a global level, and in both at-home and away-from-home channels. We will continue to identify and address opportunities to further improve our value share, driven by data-backed insight. As we close the chapter on 2021 we emerge stronger by delivering both top-line and EPS ahead of 2019 and we gained share in a growing industry.
The actions we took during the pandemic have resulted in an agile and focused organization that is poised to capture the sizable opportunities that exist and we continue to look to the future to build on our momentum and drive growth.
As we turn to 2022, while it is impossible for us to know whether this variant will be the last, what is clear is that our consumers, our customers, and our business are learning and adapting with great resilience. For example, while we have seen some impact from the Omicron variant through the first few weeks of the year, we are not seeing the same level of disruption as previous waves and our system is better equipped. Further recovery in 2022 will be determined by macro factors, including overall consumer sentiments, as well as supply chain challenges, labor shortages, and of course, the inflationary pressures and interest rates. We are confident we are well equipped to navigate this environment and deliver on the guidance we provided today.
Now I'll touch on some of the capabilities we've built to unlock the next stage of growth and will elaborate more at our virtual CAGNY presentation later this month. We're excited about where we are today and the substantial initiatives we have in place for 2022. The consumer continues to be at the center of our strategy and through our total beverage company agenda we are adapting to the macro and micro trends, which are shaping consumer habits. We advanced our total beverage company agenda last year by streamlining our portfolio, focusing on the core, and investing behind the portfolio brands that allows us to meet the evolving needs of consumers.
We completed much of this work on branded eliminations while being deliberate with brand transitions. This optimized portfolio will ensure we follow the consumer and win in emerging and fast-growing categories and is complemented by the recent strategic acquisition of BodyArmor as well as relationships like the new agreement with Constellation Brands which will launch Fresca Mixed and extended relationship with Molson Coors which were launched Simply Spiked Lemonade in the U.S.
Our network marketing model with global category teams and local operating units is allowing us to focus on end-to-end consumer experiences that are data-driven and always on. Our announcement of WPP as our global marketing network partner is a foundational component of our new marketing model. This new agency approach gives us access to the best creative minds regardless of source is underpinned by leading-edge data and technology capabilities. The Real Magic campaign is the first campaign which was co-created internally leveraging this new end-to-end approach and the campaign is showing strong results for the consumers.
We have good visibility into the benefits of the new marketing multi-model. The approach will allow us to deliver best-in-class consumer-centric marketing experiences across our categories and around the world. We also built more discipline into our innovation process in 2021 with a key focus on scalable brand that can build momentum year-over-year. It's still early but the approach is working. Revenue per launch and gross profit per launch were up 30% and 25% respectively versus prior year. And we took intelligent local experiments and move more rapidly to scale it across geographies. Sustainable packaging like refillables and labelless bottles along with brands like Coke with Coffee, Fairlife AHA, Costa Ready-to-Drink, and Lamendo [Phonetic] are all examples of local winners that have been extended to more markets.
For 2022, our innovation process is increasingly supported by data and our pipeline is robust with built-in agility. consist of big bets along with many shots on goal. The system has stepped up with RGM and execution capabilities which is helping us navigate an inflationary environment driving value growth in a segmented way. Just with the strength of our bottling partners and the strong than ever alignment of the system, we are prepared to address opportunities as well as challenges may lie ahead.
Our networked organizational structure is designed to better connect functions and operating units to help our system scale ideas faster. As we've emerged stronger, we've kept moving forward on integrating sustainability work into our business as it is a key driver of future growth. During the quarter, we were recognized for our commitment to transparency and action to address environmental risks by earning an A score in CDP's assessment for water, an improvement over last year. We improved or maintained our score in CDP's assessments on other important areas like climate and forests.
Additionally, to complement our World Without Waste goals, we announced the new global goal to reach 25% reusable packaging by 2030. Increasing refillable and reusable packaging options response to consumer affordability and our sustainability aspirations and it helps create a circular economy as refillable packages have extremely high levels of collection and a low carbon footprint beverage containers.
Finally, before I turn over to John I want to say a big thank you and recognize our associates from both the company and our bottling partners who work with great dedication and unwavering commitment throughout another challenging year. We expect the recovery will remain asynchronous, but we are encouraged by our growing industry, our unparalleled system strength, and a strategic transformation that enables us to be agile and to adapt. Our actions drove strong results in 2021 and we have confidence in our ability to deliver another year of strong performance in 2022 and over the long-term.
Now, John, will provide more details on our results and our 2022 guidance.