From the very outset of the ColaLife Campaign we have stressed that we only want to piggy-back on the Coca-Cola distribution chain to get social products into the community shops that Coca-Cola gets to. We do not want there to be any other association. The purchase of an Anti-Diarrhoea Kit (ADK) must not be linked to the purchase of Coca-Cola. You don’t have to buy a Coca-Cola if you want an ADK.
If you follow this same logic up the distribution chain, the same should apply at wholesaler level. That is to say, retailers should not be forced to buy Coca-Cola if they just want ADKs. When we select the communities where we are going to work and they select the retailers they want us to work with, it may be that these retailers do not sell Coca-Cola. However, these retailers will be able to go to the Coca-Cola wholesaler and just buy ADKs without buying Coca-Cola.
This leads on to the question of how we are going to bundle the ADKs after they are assembled by Medical Stores Limited (MSL) and what should be the ‘unit of sale’ to retailers? If some retailers aren’t going to buy Coca-Cola, how are they going to carry the ADKs they buy if they’ve got no crate to put them in?
After a lot of discussion and consideration of the circumstances of the retailers we’ve decided that ADKs should be bundled in fives and that a heavy gauge polythene bag is the most appropriate container, at least for the trial (see the image below). We also considered bundling 10 ADKs but think that this may be too much of a ‘bulk purchase’ for the retailers we will be working with. We also considered using a cardboard box rather than a bag but dismissed this because of cost and the fact that the ADK brand – Kit Yamoyo – would be hidden if the ADKs were placed in boxes.
If the retailer is buying Coca-Cola as well, then two bags of ADKs (10) can be fitted into a crate. In this case the ADKs can be carried without increasing the volume and this may be important as in the last part of the distribution chain, costs of transportation tend to be related more to volume than weight – it will cost you the same to put a crate on a bus, truck or bicycle whether or not it has ADKs in it.
The question is: how many ADKs will actually arrive in remote rural communities in Coca-Cola crates? It will be very interesting to find out.