Quotes From Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism


Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism by Bartow J. Elmore is another book I can recommend adding to your reading list and it's one you can pick up here. The quotes below are just a few of the interesting quotes I took away from it.

Coca-Cola was the world’s most valuable brand in 2012. That year, the company was all over the map, operating in over two hundred countries and selling more than 1.8 billion beverage servings per day (one serving for every four people on earth).

Some have claimed that Coke was successful because it was a “want maker,” ….. Coca-Cola’s advertising and promotional campaigns transubstantiated the company’s sugary beverage into “an old friend, a piece of everyday life, a talisman of America."

By the mid-twentieth century, Coke was the single largest buyer of sugar in the world, the largest global consumer of processed caffeine, the biggest commercial buyer of aluminum cans and plastic bottles in the nonalcoholic beverage industry, and a major water guzzler. It gorged on commodities in order to make profits.

The company became connected to numerous supply chains through corporate intermediaries counted among the biggest commercial titans of their day, including the Sugar Trust, Monsanto Chemical Company, Cargill, General Foods, Kraft, McDonald’s, the Hershey Chocolate Company, and Stepan Chemical Company. Government played a large role, too. Federal agencies subsidized farmers to fuel the production of corn Coke needed to produce its sweeteners.

Ultimately, Coke’s genius, its secret formula in many ways, was staying out of the business of making stuff.

By the end of the 2010s, Coca-Cola bottlers and retailers would use over 79 billion gallons of water annually to dilute Coke syrup. …. Considering the whole supply chain, Coke’s water consumption in 2012 exceeded that of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway combined, enough to meet the annual cooking, cleaning, and drinking needs of over 2 billion people, or close to a quarter of the world’s population.

Woodruff’s strategy was by no means revolutionary, “If you can get somebody to do something better than you can do it yourself, it’s always a good idea.”

Coke’s trademarks were worth over $6.7 billion in 2013.

Pepsi, not Coke, initiated the first major foray into the bottled tap water business, introducing its label Aquafina in 1994. Unlike other popular water companies of the time, such as Poland Spring or Perrier, who sourced their products at special springs, Pepsi decided to use purified local tap water for Aquafina, Aquafina, exploiting its widespread bottling network and its low-cost civic supplies.

A liter of Dasani at Kroger cost 1,935 times more than the same amount of water coming from a home faucet.

In the 1930s, the average American spent almost 25 percent of disposable income on food purchases, but by 2000, this figure dropped to roughly 10 percent. Americans were not suffering from want. They had all the food they could possibly desire. In this world of abundance, Coke was a particularly potent source of excess calories few Americans needed.