Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Coca-Cola's Caloric Confession

Let me start by saying that I love Coca-Cola. And I particularly love Dr. Pepper - it's by far my favorite soda.  Truth be told, I pretty much love every sugary soft drink that I've ever tasted and would probably have it everyday if I could.  But I don't.  In fact, I try like hell to avoid drinking it and only consume it when absolutely I'm treating myself.  I confess that it's my number one vice.

Sugary beverages like Coca-Cola have been made public enemy number one for several years by health advocates who have growing concerns about our nations' ever-expanding waistline.  Sadly, I am a testament to how soda appears to be losing the battle.   

However, as I've suggested in July 2010, October 2011, July 2012, November 2012 and probably on several more occasions. As I've said repeatedly, I don't believe beverage marketers are protecting their flagship brands from being perceived as unhealthy by engaging them in a conversation about health.  It's comparable to fighting fire with fire. 

That battle continued yesterday when Coca-Cola launched a new advertisement to defend itself.  But every caloric-centric marketing decision it makes unwittingly confirms the accusations against the classic taste it introduced 126 years ago rather than defends it.  An acceleration of the decline of the cola category will result.

The truth is that if a consumer is going to make a beverage choice on the criteria of health, then grabbing a Coke is poor choice.  Nevertheless, there isn't a health group on the planet that can argue against anything tasting as delicious and refreshing like a Coke can.

Appealing to our collective common sense, Coca-Cola's new ad explicitly says that "all calories count, no matter where they come from including Coca-Cola."

Our common sense should also tell us that not all calories are created equal.  The calories from a salad are better than that of a burger just as the calories from a juice are better than that of a Coke.  It's all about the nutrients packed inside those calories.  Therefore, regardless of the calorie count from your next Coke, the fact remains that they're still be unproductive calories.  Our bodies cannot really use them.

All that said, the Coca-Cola Company is very well positioned for the decline of the cola category.  It boasts numerous waters, juices, teas and other low-calorie beverages that lead their own category. 

I just wish that they weren't in such a rush for that day to arrive.

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