Thursday, March 17, 2016

Coke and the Brits

Remember this great scene from Dr Strangelove . . .

Captain Mandrake needs a coin to call the President of the United States to give information that will avert a nuclear war.  He asks Colonel "Bat" Guano to break open the Coke machine to get him a coin, to which the colonel replies:

"I'll get you your money. But if you don't get the President of the United States on that phone, you're gonna have to answer to the Coca Cola Company."

Coca Cola is not only as American as Mom's apple pie, it is a world wide empire, hence the importance of the overnight news item:
Coke’s worst nightmare comes true as UK introduces sugar tax in Budget 2016

UK CHANCELLOR George Osborne has announced a tax on sugary drinks to clamp down on childhood obesity in the annual budget released on Wednesday. Speaking in the UK parliament the treasurer said five year olds consume their body weight in sugar each year and within half a generation 70 per cent of young boys and girls are expected to be overweight or obese. 
The tax will come into effect in two years time and be in two bands — one for total sugar more than five grams per 100 millilitres and one for drinks with more eight grams per 100 millilitres. Pure fruit juices and milk drinks will remain exempt and it’s expected to raise more than $1 billion a year to be spent on school sports programs. 
Anti-sugar campaigner Jamie Oliver tweeted his delight at the news, saying “We did it!!! A sugar levy on sugary sweetened drinks ... A profound move that will ripple around the world ... business cannot come between our kids health.” (sic).

- News report 

Some Coke items:
  • Altogether 1.7 billion servings of Coke products are consumed every day.
  • 3.1% of all beverages consumed around the world are Coca-Cola products.
  • Coke makes so many different beverages that if you drank one per day, it would take you over 9 years to try them all. Coca-Cola has a product portfolio of more than 3,500 beverages (and 500 brands), spanning from sodas to energy drinks to soy-based drinks.
  • Coca-Cola's $35.1 billion in revenue makes it the 84th largest economy in the world, just ahead of Costa Rica.
  • The Coca-Cola brand is worth an estimated $74 billion: more than Budweiser, Pepsi, Starbucks and Red Bull combined.
  • Coca-Cola spends more money on advertising than Microsoft and Apple combined.
  • Coke uses 300,000 tons of aluminium for its cans every year just for its US operations. That's equal to 17.4% of what the entire US aluminium industry produces

“...Coca-Cola and fries, the wafer and wine of the Western religion of commerce.” 

- Tad Williams

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