Of course, being able to say only two people know how to mix the 7X flavoring ingredient is part of that brand.
Coke has always built their brand by associating the drink with happiness and good memories, and when that taste changed, people were upset because the Coke they grew up with no longer existed.
But I doubt anyone would be able to steal share away from Coke simply by copying their formula.
As he explains it, choosing between two options in a vacuum is hard. You have to list pros and cons and weigh them carefully. We prefer to create yardsticks and say "better" and "worse". When you add the defective option you create a no-brainer yardstick in the mind of the chooser.
Doesn't this sound suspiciously like New Coke? I don't believe that the marketers didn't know this stuff, or that they were caught by surprise by what played out next.
But I get your point on the decoy. Although that's an awful big game to play with a few months worth of Coke sales if they knew it in advance.
Gay Mullins, a Seattle retiree looking to start a public relations firm with $120,000 of borrowed money, formed the organization Old Cola Drinkers of America on May 28 to lobby Coca-Cola to either reintroduce the old formula or sell it to someone else. [....] In two informal blind taste tests, Mullins either failed to distinguish New Coke from old or expressed a preference for New Coke.
New Coke was designed to be more Pepsi-like in that it was sweeter. In smaller quantities, people readily preferred the sweeter of the two drinks, whether it was New Coke vs Coke Classic or it was Pepsi vs Coke Classic. But what the taste tests overlooked was that people preferred Coke Classic to either New Coke or Pepsi in larger quantities (e.g. a 12oz can).
Goizueta publicly voiced a complaint many company executives had been making in private as they shared letters the company had received thanking them for the change in formula, that bashing it had become "chic" and that, as had happened in the focus groups, peer pressure was keeping those who liked it from speaking up in its favor as vociferously as its critics were against it. Donald Keough, the company's president and chief operating officer, reported overhearing this exchange at his country club outside Atlanta:
"Have you tried it?"
"Did you like it?"
"Yes, but I'll be damned if I'll let Coca-Cola know that."
Gladwell reports that other market researchers have criticized Coke for not realizing that much of its success as a brand came from what they call sensation transference, a phenomenon first described by marketer Louis Cheskin in the late 1940s: tasters unconsciously add their reactions to the drink's packaging into their assessment of the taste. For example, one of the researchers told Gladwell that his firm's research had found 7-Up drinkers offered a sample from a bottle with a distinctly more yellowish label believe the flavor to be more lemony, although it wasn't.
Coke considered but rejected gradually changing the drink's flavor incrementally, without announcing that they were doing so. Executives feared that the public would notice and exaggerate slight differences in taste. In 1998, Joel Dubow, a professor of food marketing at St. Joseph's University, tested this "flavor balance hypothesis" and argued that it was not true. He and fellow researcher Nancy Childs tested mixtures of classic Coke and Coca-Cola II and found that the gradual changes of taste were not noticed by a significant number of tasters. Coke, he said, would have succeeded had it chosen this strategy.
I'm not at all convinced the primary issue with New Coke was taste-based, from the available information.
I prefer Coke Cola as I indeed drink larger quantities, but my wife prefers Pepsi. And I don't mind Pepsi, but when I tried Pepsi Blue, the taste was so awful it was nauseating, although I did like the commercial. And if they gradually migrated old Pepsi to Blue, I don't know if I would notice what's going on, but I would stop drinking it.
IMHO taste matters.
That said I had a some compensation episodes later, e.g. when I first discovered Vanilla Coke in a winding 7-11 in Hong Kong - I remember this beverage to be almost overwhelmingly sweet.
It is overwhelmingly sweet no doubt about it. I could not drink two sips of it and I am a Coca-Cola drinker.
Try it! And report back with your opine.
edit: I know, Pepsi isn't a "generic brand cola", just saying, Coke isn't usually rated the best.
As an adult I've found the only relevant things for colas. Coke goes great with white rums and Pepsi goes great with spice rums. Beyond that I'll drink either whenever.
I'm not a fan of Pepsi at all, in a similar way to how I don't like any of the diet colas - the sweetness is too much, and it being flat only hurts it further, removing some of the carbonic acid.
Many years ago, back when I was working my way thru high school, my father was a shop manager at a manufacturing plant. One of the perks he had, was deciding what went in the drink cooler. He swore (all day and half the night) that the small bottles of Coke (8 oz or 6 oz) had a better flavor than the larger bottles of Coke did (which were either 12 oz or 16 oz). So, he made sure that there were always 2 rows stocked with the small bottles.
This is from the days when all the bottles were returnable.
All very well for Coke to say "If you did this, your results would change"... Where's the data?
I'm also firmly Pepsi, just prefer sugar.
Pepsi is its own brand unto itself, and in fact turned down an offer of Coca-Cola trade secrets before.
The spokesperson ("archivist") they found from Coca Cola implied that stories like this come up all the time.
"driving a truck from the orange oil plant? must be sugar!"
It depends on what the recipe is. If they're extracting some ingredients from cow dung then I think it could hurt them.
Possibly, but people seem pretty resistent to these types of things. Red die being crushed up bugs. Everything in cigarettes. 90% of the ingredients in non-fresh foods. Pesticides on fresh foods. McDonalds....
Coke isn't exactly good for you and I think most people know that. And I think the "eww" factor would have to be pretty horrifying to make people stop drinking it.
IMHO Coke tastes horrible. Can't stand the stuff. Only Pepsi Max will do.
Pre-packaged sandwiches are normally considered a bit ghetto and nasty. Pret used to (maybe they still do... I dunno...) print the recipe for the sandwich you were eating on the side of the box so that you realised you were getting good quality ingredients and a fair amount of effort went in to what you were eating.
Seems as though Pret realised what you were buying was not so much the product itself, but the convenience.
1. Are you USian or UKian (or neither)? Pre-packaged sandwiches have much greater acceptance in the UK. Heck, M&S sells them.
2. Don't pre-packaged sandwiches already have ingredients printed on them? If you're drawing a distinction between ingredients and recipe, how does one more than the other guarantee quality of ingredients?
2) This picture answers it better than I tried to explain it:
Am I the only one or does anyone else hate the unnecessary popup ad on time.com?
A good counter example is the assembly of old nes games. I have read through some of them and you can even find nice commented versions of the main games source like mario, mario3, super mario etc. Reading the source is really eye opening. Some features in the game are very hard coded and fundamental to the code base changing it would be extremely hard. Other times you find fantastically elegant code. If anyone is interested in a treat go read the level loading asm for smb1.
...and if Firefox weren't open source. Why look at disassembled asm when you can download the C/C++ code?
Since you're not just using raw chemicals to produce the final product reproducing it is very expensive if this is the way that you're going about it.
Of course the proportions and mixing might be secret - but really it's coke's brand and ubiquity that is their 'secret'.
Good luck with trying to sell and distribute at competing prices with The Coca Cola company (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coca_Cola_Company#Lobbying)
Its an excellent book too, with the history of the new coke fiasco and the early years.
There is a trace amount of alcohol in Coke as a byproduct of the Corn-to-HFCS conversion. Because of this grain byproduct, Coke produces a Kosher version of Coke around the jewish holidays that uses cane or beet sugar (sucrose) instead of high-fructose corn syrup. I grab as much K-Coke as I can during the passover season and hoard it all year. It's good stuff.
Local bottlers will tweak the syrup/water ratio for the local tastes. I've been told it's sweeter in the south than the north. The Mexican mix is insanely heavy on the syrup.
I've tried Coke syrup straight. It'll make the muscles in your jaw convulse from the insane sugar hit.
The key, for me, anyway, to Mexican Coke is to keep it at room temperature and serve it over ice. It's always cold enough, and the slight dilution from the melting ice makes it perfect.
Also, the Mexican mix isn't heavy on the syrup, it's heavy on cane sugar.
One of my biggest wishes is that Coke would bring the European formula of Orange Fanta to the USA. It's an excellent drink (and #2 in popularity to Coca-Cola from what I hear), but in the USA it's this thick syrupy supersweet undrinkable mess.
That said, basically all liquid flavorings are alcohol solutions. The 1 oz vanilla probably adds as much alcohol as the 7X does. And I suspect that the Mormons and Muslims are okay with vanilla extract.
But it IS in your vanilla extract etc.
"To this day, Coca-Cola uses as an ingredient a cocaine-free coca leaf extract prepared at a Stepan Company plant in Maywood, New Jersey."
"They identified the Illinois-based Stepan Company as the importer and processor of the coca used in Coke. "
I'm against ethanol (because of corn welfare for millionares) but it's still an eye opening story.
ps. What's up with Time trying to be "hip" to the Reddit/Digg crowd?
The recipe has changed/been tweaked alot & the true strength of Google is now in its worldwide brand rather than its ranking algorithm.
I regularly make root beer this way and put it in my kegerator. I usually put in about half the sugar than what the extract calls for.