Friday, February 5, 2010

Isn't it just business?

I came across this article about the Coca-Cola company managing to charge more than twice as much for half the amount of soda and calling it an innovation.

Let me start by saying, soda is bad. As a long-term cola addict [notice I didn’t say Coke addict] I had a rough time giving up the fizzy blend of sugar and caffeine that took the place of coffee in my diet. You can’t really win with soda – it’s either full of sugar or it’s full of diet sweetner, so the best thing for everyone is to avoid it all together.

That being said, I still defend a soda drinker’s right to get some value for their money.
Apparently the company is now marketing smaller cans of Coke, 7.5 ounces as opposed to 12 [or 8]. This is healthier – less high fructose corn syrup or less chemical sweetners is good. Since all ‘health’ foods are more expensive, it stands to reason people would be more than happy to pay more for less.

That’s just business, right? Can we blame the company for trying to increase their profits by offering less product at a higher price and marketing it in such a way that consumers think they are getting a better deal? I’m drinking less soda — that will help my health in the long run, right?

Of course, the flip side is, someone who was used to drinking 12 ounces of soda may buy the 7.5 ounce product, but once they’ve downed that tiny can, what’s to stop them from popping open another and ultimately drinking 15 ounces of soda instead of 12? Fifteen ounces, by the way, that costs more than twice as much per ounce. So much for the calorie control aspect of the Coca-Cola ad campaign.

I have no problem with non-consumable items that come in tinier sizes because they’re more convenient to carry around. I know I pay more for that little travel size tube of toothpaste or bottle of mouthwash – and how hard is it really to pack the full-size version right from the medicine cabinet? That’s paying more for less and thinking it’s a good deal. I don’t mind grabbing a little bag of pretzels or chips at a convenience store when pound for pound the full size bags are cheaper because I don’t always want a full size container of some snack food. Why should Coca-Cola be any different?

Do you think a product designed with portion control in mind is a good thing or just a gimmick? If they called these little cans of Coke ‘travel sized’ would that make a difference? I think the problem here lies not in the size of the can, but in the idea that drinking soda from any size container should be viewed as a healthy lifestyle choice.

1 comment:

  1. I'm suprised it doesn't come in a 100-Calorie-Pack like everything else.