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If I Was In Charge of Coke… or Pepsi

I\'d Like To Teach The World To Sing..This week, I am offering a suggestion that can be easily implemented by either Soft Drink giant.  However, since I have named 2 companies, I will make 2 suggestions.  Fair enough?  Alright, here goes…

If I was in charge of Coke the first thing I would do would be to bring back real cane sugar.  I would eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup from the core product, making the delicious beverage it once was.  The second thing I would do would be to package it in glass bottles.

Why?  First, anyone older than me can vividly remember what it was like to grab an ice cold bottle of Coke, and chug it down on a hot summer day.  Delicious.  I was reminded of this on Father’s Day.  For lunch, we went to City BBQ for a father’s day feast.  In addition to the delicious Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich that I ate, I was delighted to discover that City Barbecue now carries icy cold, glass bottles of Cheerwine – a soda that is rarely found outside of the Carolinas.  Best of all, it was made with real sugar.  It was so delicious and refreshing that I went back and bought another bottle.

It got me thinking, why wouldn’t Coke and Pepsi take advantage of this.  After all, High Fructose Corn Syrup has plenty of detractors.  It has been suspected, but not proven (please no lawsuits), of contributing to diabetes and obesity.  More important to me, sugar just tastes better.  Perhaps in a blind taste test, I would never know the difference, but I am not blind.   I read the ingredients, and frankly I am predisposed to believe sugar tastes better.  (See Seth Godin’s All Marketers are Liars for more on that idea)

Now, surely I would not be alone in this predisposition toward all natural sugar and glass bottles.  Think of the aging baby boomer population, the largest segment of the population by the way, and how they might wax nostalgic for a good old fashioned Coke “like the singing international hippies in the commercials used to drink.”  No, soft drinks aren’t that healthy to begin with, but if they were less unhealthy – especially than that of competition, – that would be a selling point for some.  The glass bottles are reusable, and offer the sweet 10 cent bounty for turning them back in.  Being made of glass, which is made from sand, they would be more bio-friendly.

Because corn is in high demand relative to ethanol, the use of sugar would not be as cost prohibitive as in the past.  Thus, the switch to sugar might not even change the price.

So in summary, better tasting , more healthy, more eco-friendly product that would appeal to the largest group of consumers with the most disposable income on the planet.   That is what I would do.

How about you?  What would you do first if you were in charge of Coke?

High-fructose corn syrup – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia