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Refreshing Reflections: Anton Panajon Shares RC Cola's Journey and Exciting Projections for 2024

1 2024

As we have bidden farewell to 2023, we sat down to reflect on the developments and emerging trends that have reshaped the beverage industry. Anton Panajon, the Senior Marketing Manager at RC Cola International, shares his insights on the successes of reinvigorating brands, the changing landscape of the industry, and the anticipation for the future.


Reflections on 2023

Can you share a key success story from past year that you're particularly proud of?

Reinvigorating the brands in the portfolio is something that I pride myself on together with my entire team. To usher in new ideas and fresh perspectives is something that I believe is essential for staying relevant, not just in the industry but in life.

I'm glad the company could support our vision for the brands. Our aim was to 'liven up' the brands, infusing them with much more fun. This aligns with our core mission of bringing refreshment to our markets. However, our goal extends beyond just quenching the thirst for the brand. We also strive to rejuvenate people's belief in our brands. Our commitment is not only to refresh but also to bring enjoyment into their lives.


How has your industry’s  landscape changed over the past year?

With the growing youth population, changes in beliefs, behavior, outlook and priorities seriously needed to be taken into consideration. It’s evident that the entire industry is actively developing new concepts and tweaking positionings to appeal to the new generation that has so many nuances but also keeping us all in check with what should be put out there for the greater good.


What trends emerged in your industry in 2023 that you think will continue to be influential?

Health awareness is here to stay. You’ll see that the big beverage brands have already shifted their attention to satiating the market with healthier options and I believe this will further expand in the coming years. Innovation will place health and everything connected to it at the forefront, as well as sustainability.

Were there any unexpected developments last year that reshaped your industry’s outlook?

I think since the world opened up post-pandemic, people globally craved for so many things aside from revenge traveling. The need to reassociate ourselves with history and “the good old days”, became apparent. That prompted indulgent flavors to emerge and be added to nostalgic eating and drink experiences. Interestingly, there was an almost mass global movement to snap out of the forced-hibernation that the pandemic dictated. 


Are there any emerging technologies you’re excited about or planning to integrate?

First thing that pops to mind is definitely the use of Artificial Intelligence. Its presence has definitely been felt by the entire world and is something that can be interesting to use. Coca-Cola briefly introduced its capabilities this year with an ai-generated flavor and I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Across all industries and in everyday life, it will really be interesting to witness its growth in use.

2024 Predictions

What are your predictions for the soda beverage industry in 2024?

Healthy drinks are poised to become increasingly popular and will continue to emerge on store shelves, showcasing a variety of innovative concepts. This trend reflects a growing consumer interest in wellness and nutrition, leading to the introduction of beverages with unique health benefits, such as added vitamins, minerals, and natural supplements. These drinks are not only focused on physical well-being but also aim to cater to specific dietary needs and lifestyle choices. From organic ingredients to sugar-free options, the diversity in healthy drink offerings is expanding.


How is RC Cola International preparing for this year's anticipated beverage trends and challenges?

We are continuously developing innovative beverage ideas that we believe will resonate with our audience. This process of preparation and anticipation is genuinely enjoyable, particularly given the adventurous nature of the young generation. Their willingness to experiment and explore new things inspires us to infuse creativity and excitement into our concepts and strategies.


RC Cola has just gotten a rebrand. Can you tell us a little about that?

We embarked on a rebranding journey to bring a modern twist to RC Cola, tailored to today's dynamic youth, while still honoring our rich legacy. Our refreshed image strikes a careful balance between contemporary appeal and the cherished heritage. This rebranding extends beyond just RC Cola, as we're committed to elevating all our brands. 

A fresh take on RC Cola is very welcome but this doesn’t stop there. We assessed our portfolio and we are serious about launching brands into the forefront and pushing much pride in what we do; so expect fresh things from us soon.


Just for fun

Which country do you predict will win the most gold medals in the Olympics 2024?

The Philippines, of course 🙂


If you were not the Senior Marketing Manager of RC Cola International, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be an architect or perhaps stuck with advertising. 


Thank you Anton!