Entries in Coca-Cola (10)


Hug a Vending Machine for a Free Coke?

Image credit: Coca Cola(NEW YORK) -- Although their latest social media ploy might look ridiculous, Coca Cola has struck marketing gold.  A vending machine in Singapore is offering free cans of Coke in exchange for a hug.  When you hug the red machine labeled with the words Hug Me, and squeeze the sides, a can of soda pops out.

The machine was installed at the National University of Singapore and photos of people hugging the machine have taken social media by storm.

This regional initiative was created by Ogilvy & Mather as part of Coca Cola’s “Open Happiness” campaign.

“Our strategy is to deliver doses of happiness in an unexpected, innovative way to engage not only the people present, but the audience at large,” said Leonardo O’Grady, ASEAN IMC director, in a statement.

“Whether you were hugging the machine or experiencing the event online, our goal was the same – to put a smile on your face and share that emotional connection.”

The company plans to unveil more machines across Asia.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Does Coca-Cola Owe Family $130M in Stock?

James G. Welgos/Archive Photos/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Relatives of a man who died battling with the Coca-Cola Co. over a stock certificate that would award him a $130 million stake in the beverage maker plans to finish his fight and “see it through,” their attorney told ABC News Friday.

In 2008, Tony Marohn of Indio, Calif., a manual laborer and self-proclaimed treasure hunter, purchased a box of papers at an estate sale.

“It was definitely $5 or less,” Chris Morosoff, who represents Marohn’s estate, said of the box. “This is what he did. … One find was a big deal to him.”

Morosoff said that inside the box Marohn found a Palmer Union Oil Co. stock certificate signed by someone named John Wagner. The line assigning the certificate to someone was blank, so Marohn added his signature.

“It was like a blank check,” Morosoff said. “When Tony bought the box, he bought this stock certificate. Whoever holds it, whoever puts their name on it, owns it.”

After some research, Marohn discovered that Coca-Cola was the oil company’s successor, so he contacted the company in 2009.

Morosoff, however, said the company turned down Marohn’s request for stock only after realizing just how much he was seeking -- 1.8 million shares of common stock for his 1,625 oil shares.

When Marohn died of a heart problem in 2010, his family took the reins.

“Somebody had to step into his shoes,” Morosoff said Friday. “This consumed a huge portion of his time.”

The case was put on hold in February, but Morosoff said that a conference with a judge in Delaware, where Coca-Cola is incorporated, was planned for Monday.

Morosoff said the family -- especially Marohn’s daughter, Jamie Marohn, the estate’s executor, and her mother -- believed the stock was valid and planned to continue with the litigation.

“It’s not so much about the money,” he said. “For my client, for Jamie and her mom, it’s about her dad. This was a big deal for her dad before he passed away.  She’s going to finish the fight for her dad.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Coca-Cola Admits Its Orange Juice Contains Fungicide

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Coca-Cola has come out as the company that recently notified the Food and Drug Administration that some of the orange juice it imports from Brazil contains low levels of the fungicide carbendazim, which is used to control fungi or fungal spores.

The soft drink maker told on both itself and a competitor, fueling the FDA to conduct tests on all orange juice entering the U.S.

On Wednesday, the agency told ABC News preliminary results from three samples of imported O.J. turned up negative.  The FDA added that it currently has 30 additional samples pending, which include juice from Brazil, Mexico and Canada.

Coke, which makes Simply Orange and Minute Maid, hasn’t said which of its brands contains the fungicide that’s not approved for use in the U.S.

While the Environmental Protection Agency says that the amount of carbendazim found in the drink is not harmful, future prices for orange juice sank on Wednesday because of perceived effects on demand.

Even though shipments of orange juice from overseas are being stopped at the border for inspection, there's been no move to pull cartons of O.J. from stores shelves in the U.S.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Coca-Cola Moves Secret Formula

James G. Welgos/Archive Photos/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Coca-Cola has moved its secret formula to an exhibit where the public can see it -- or at least see a vault containing the closely guarded 125-year-old recipe.

The formula, housed in a vault in the SunTrust Bank in Atlanta since 1925, was transferred in a stealth move last Sunday under heavy security, according to Coca-Cola marketing manager Jacquie Wansley.

It’s now inside a 10-foot-tall vault at the World of Coca-Cola, the company’s attraction in downtown Atlanta, where the new exhibit was opened Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coke and Diet Coke Cans Should Be Polar Opposites, Buyers Say

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Don’t worry, Coke fans, those classic red cans are on their way back.

The Coca-Cola Co. told ABC News Thursday that it would be following up last month’s release of its white, holiday “Arctic Home” cans adorned with polar bears with a “limited-edition” red version.

“We launched ‘Arctic Home’ to raise awareness and funds for the polar bear. … We committed up to $3 million to World Wildlife Fund and are encouraging others to join us in helping protect the bears and their habitat,” spokesman Rand Carpenter wrote via email. “The plan is to continue shipping the billion-plus white cans until they run out and we are nearing that now.”

Some consumers told ABC News Thursday that although they liked the message behind the redesign, they mixed up the white can with Diet Coke.

“We were confused and did think it was diet at first,” Lucie Kamuda McHan commented on Facebook. “I understand why they are doing it, but they still could have kept them red and just painted white polar bears on them. I like the red ones better.”

“I purchased three six-packs because I thought they were diet,” Gail O’Donnell of Danvers, Mass., told ABC News via email. “I drank one and wondered why it tasted so good. I didn’t look at the can. … I am a diabetic and can only drink diet sodas. … They need to make it so it is not confused.”

Others said the beverage tasted differently in the white can, but Carpenter told ABC News the beverage’s ingredients were the same.

“Whenever we change our packaging, we nearly always hear from a handful of people that believe the taste is different,” he said. “Of course, it isn’t.”

Sam Craig, a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said that although he didn’t believe Coke’s brand would be tarnished or altered by backlash, the message was clear: “Don’t mess with the brand.”

“The fundamental thing is that people don’t like change,” he said.

In 2009, when PepsiCo ditched the straw-in-the-orange logo on the packaging of its Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice, customers did more than complain. Many stopped buying it. From January, when the new packaging was launched, until February, sales of the juice dropped 20 percent, according to Advertising Age.

PepsiCo scrapped the new packaging and brought the orange back. The failed redesign cost the company a reported $35 million.

In October 2010, Gap sought to replace its more than 20-year-old blue square logo with a more contemporary design. Within days of the launch,  the retailer had done away with the idea after consumers  took to Facebook and Twitter to voice their outrage.

And earlier this year, Frito-Lay released a quieter compostable bag for its SunChips brand after a 2010 redesign was pulled from the shelves because of complaints that it was just too loud.

As for Coca-Cola, Carpenter would not comment on sales during the “Arctic Home” promotion but said the company was “excited about the positive impact this campaign is having with our consumers and customers to help protect the polar bear’s home.”

As of Tuesday, more than $137,000 had been raised for the animals.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coca-Cola to Raise Soft Drink Prices Next Month

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Coke drinkers can soon expect to pay more.  The Coca-Cola company plans to increase prices on its soft drinks by three to four percent at the end of July.

Beverage Digest first reported the price increase, which will vary depending on the brands and packages, but Coca-Cola confirmed the news Friday.

A company spokesman said Friday that the increase is to keep pace with the rising costs of commodities.

The price change will take effect July 31.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Famous Coca-Cola Museum in Kentucky Closes Its Doors

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky.) -- If you happened to be in Elizabethtown, Kentucky Tuesday and wanted to stop by the famed Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia, you were out of luck.

The museum closed up for good without warning.

However, if you happen to be a Coca-Cola memorabilia collector in the market for some really valuable one-of-a-kind items, you are definitely in luck because the family of Bill and Jan Schmidt will be selling all of their 80,000 artifacts at auction beginning this September.

The Schmidts, who owned a Coke bottling plant, founded their museum in 1977, which features everything from old coke bottles and trays to soda fountains and antique delivery trucks.

An archivist with the Coca-Cola Company ranked the Schmidt collection as one of the top three private holdings.  In fact, the museum has many Coke items that the Coca-Cola company doesn’t.

Larry Schmidt, whose father, Bill, died four years ago, said that the family will hold periodic auctions in order not to flood the market, which would devalue other private collections.

It’s expected that the Schmidt family will reap about $10 million once the auctions are completed several years down the road.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coke, Diet Coke Reigning Over Pepsi

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Coke is not only winning the cola wars, it's winning big.

For as long as anyone can remember, Coke and Pepsi have run one-two in U.S. soda pop consumption.  But that's changed now with the appearance of a new number two: Diet Coke.

Regular Coke controls a 17 percent share of the U.S. market, followed by Diet Coke at 9.9 percent and Pepsi at 9.5 percent.

Industry analysts fault Pepsi for scaling back on more product-oriented advertising and marketing, including its recent decision not to run a commercial during the Super Bowl for the first time in 23 years.  Coke has had ads running during the annual most-watched TV program for the past five years.

While Pepsi tries to regroup, the entire soda industry may be rethinking its strategy.  Sales of carbonated soft drinks have declined steadily in recent years as people turn to healthier beverage alternatives.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heinz to Use Coca-Cola "PlantBottle" for Ketchup

Photo Courtesy - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BOCA RATON, Fla.) -- H.J. Heinz Co. announced plans to use more environmentally-friendly bottles Wednesday.

Heinz will start using Coca-Cola's trademarked "PlantBottle" system, which requires less petroleum. It plans to produce 120 million ketchup bottles with the new system, thereby altering a fifth of Heinz's global products.  

The eco-conscious PlantBottles are made with sugarcane ethanol grown in Brazil. Coca-Cola and Heinz intend to diversify the technology over the coming years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Is This the Secret Coke Recipe?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- The public radio program This American Life went on the air last weekend claiming to have unearthed the closely guarded secret formula for Coca-Cola.

"I am not kidding," host Ira Glass said at the top of the show, rustling the paper into his microphone. "One of the most famously guarded trade secrets on the planet: I have it right here and I am going to read it to you. I am going to read it to the world."

Glass goes on to spend the first half of his program explaining how he found the recipe, hidden in plain view. His story starts when he stumbled across a column in the Feb. 18, 1979, edition of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Coke's hometown paper. There, "buried" on page 2B was a photograph of a page from an old book of handwritten pharmacists' recipes.

Coca-Cola was invented in the 1880s by John Pemberton, a pharmacist, and was originally sold at drug store soda fountains.

Glass also talked to author Mark Pendergrast, who claims to have found the original Coca-Cola recipe in Coke's archives while researching his 1993 expose, For God, Country & Coca-Cola. The two formulas are remarkably similar, leading Glass to conclude that he had, indeed, uncovered the original recipe.

He had a batch made up at the Jones Soda Co. in Seattle. It didn't taste exactly like the Coke we know today because, in part, at least one ingredient is almost impossible for anyone but Coca Cola to obtain: fluid extract of coca, which are coca leaves that have been stripped of cocaine.

The rest of the recipe includes citric acid, caffeine, sugar, water, lime juice, vanilla, and caramel. A second part of the formula, which had the code name "7X," contains alcohol, orange oil, lemon oil, nutmeg oil, coriander, neroli and cinnamon.

For its part, Coca-Cola is not sweating.

"Many third parties have tried over time to crack our secret formula," spokeswoman Kerry Tressler told ABC News. "Try as they might, there's only one real thing. And that was not it."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio