Miruna Codeanu

Coke is now the latest devil

In cappuccino on August 21, 2014 at 6:28 am

Once the smoking matter has been taken care of, Coca Cola, alike drinks and soda are now the devils. Last year we could see it coming, and now it is here. Here’s a chart reflecting the decrease of soda consumption. 

screen shot 2014-08-20 at 2.44.03 pm

As an article in Business Insider points out, the Coca Cola Company is changing its strategy and moving its main focus from Coca Cola, which was, by now, its best selling product. However, although, we could see it coming, Coca Cola hasn’t been doing much on this matter. However, meanwhile, the problem became more serious. Here’s another chart reflecting the daily sugar intake and its sources. Most of our daily sugar intake comes from our drinks. Most commonly, soda. 

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Coca Cola has a mixed history of acquisitions, from success to some failures. However, the decrease in the soda segment and Coca Cola’s shift of strategy is quite obvious. In 2007 Coca Cola bought Fuze Tea. In 2011 Coca Cola became the main stakeholder in Honest Tea, a company that states they only use organic tea. In February 2014 Coca Cola paid $1.25 billion for 10% in Keurig Green Mountain, ad upgraded to 16% in May 2014. August 2014, Coca Cola announced they are becoming a stakeholder in Monster Energy Corp. It is obvious where Coca Cola is heading and it is obvious where the consumer is heading. Will their roads lead to the same destinations and be reunited again? 

Here’s an interesing story “In 2010, Coke asked Honest Tea to remove the text on some of its products that said there was no high fructose corn syrup inside. Coke thought it might reflect poorly on its other products, which do contain the ingredient. Honest Tea put its foot down though, and the claim stayed, keeping its organic drinks attractive to the fructo-phobic market.” (Fortune Magazine). Did Coke really understand what happened in 2010, or it was it just a compromise? I definitely agree with Honest Tea’s position, not because the consumer needs to know, but because the type of consumer buying Honest Tea because it has no high fructose corn syrup will not buy Coca Cola, or any other type of fructose syrup infused soda, so that niche of the market remains unaffected. It will, however, be a shame not to market the product as such to that part of the market. 

I keep finding similarities with the cosmetic industry, and yes they are pretty much similar. There has been a lot of hunting witches in the cosmetic industry and natural ingredients have been increasing. Those witches have been found in many parts of the cosmetic market: conservatives, parabens, paraffin oil, alcohol, perfume. Most of cosmetic companies have a line of products with +80% natural ingredients, and also other products that with conservatives, parabens, paraffin oil, alcohol, perfume, etc. However, they will advertise the +80% natural ingredients products as paraffin oil free, perfume free, conservatives free, because the audience looking for these products will not look for the other products, so it is more important to sell the relevant product to the relevant buyer. Sometimes, consumers looking for natural products, will not even buy it from a supermarket, they will go into drugstores and other such place, while of course supermarkets are trying to keep up with this trend by building all-natural isles in the supermarket. 

Well, it is sometimes more harmful to associate a brand with the entire corporation with a negative image, than half-shaming products of the same company as long as they are not selling to the same target. Well, if Coke is now the latest devil, who will be next? Of course, we’re talking mass consumption. Also, can Coca Cola be enough of a schizo to win this game?  

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