Wednesday, May 30, 2007

# Posted 8:24 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

"A COKE IS A COKE AND NO AMOUNT OF MONEY CAN GET YOU A BETTER COKE than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good." -- Andy Warhol

I saw that Warhol quote in Sunday's Times. I like it a lot. It marked the beginning of a very long article about the Coca-Cola corporation and its struggle to keep up with Pepsi. Several years ago, Coca-Cola stock was worth $20 more per share than Pepsi. Now Pepsi is well-ahead.

This information certainly took me by surprise, since I pretty much refuse to drink Pepsi. And most people I know have strong preference for Coke as well. But these days, cola is passe. The future lies not in plastics, but in uncarbonated beverages. And in that arena, Pepsi rules. It owns Gatorade, Aquafina and Tropicana.

But don't feel too bad for Coke. It still earned $5 billion last year on sales of $24 billion.


(9) opinions -- Add your opinion

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'But don't feel too bad for Coke. It still earned $5 billion last year on sales of $24 billion.'

That doesn't really mean anything.
Why not post the Wal-Mart article? That is more relevant to this site, surely.
Because I read the Coke article. But I'll be glad to read the Wal-Mart article if you recommend it.
I don't care how much Coke earns, as long as it's enough for them to stay in business, as I'll never drink that Pepsi swill.
Haven't you heard. The cola industry is going down. Sell your shares of both Pepsi and Coke. Sudan is so mad at our sanctions, they're not going to share anymore. They're going to take all their gum arabic and go home.

I think the relevant statistic is not share price, but market capitalization, where Pepsi is at 111B, and Coke is at 122B.

The amazing thing is not that Pepsi closed the gap, but that either of them could be worth over 100B, much less both. Moreover, what I find really interesting about the story is that the Pepsi's growth was fuled not by their cola, but from the niche products like energy drinks. I also love the fact that a classic American brand like Coke is headed by a man born in Northern Ireland, and raised in Zambia. The whole story is a testament to capitalism and globalization - which many would view as a negative, but which I see as a magnificent thing.

Finally, I'm still searching for a conclusive answer to the age-old debate: does Passover Coke really taste any different than regular Coke?
I had lots of Passover Coke as a kid, but never noticed the difference.

Does anybody know if the Passover formula is the same across the globe or if it's different in Mexico, Israel, etc.?
In Mexico Coke is made with cane sugar. U.S. Coke is made with high fructose corn syrup. Mexican Coke tastes like coke tasted like 30 years ago.
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