The Real Coke Classic: Mexico Coke with Cane Sugar at Costco

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Made with real cane sugar – as it should be – now at Costco (at least here in Northern California).

You get 24 BOTTLES (12 oz each) for about $18 + recycling deposit.

Does it taste better? Oh yeah. Of course, Coke claims it tastes the same … why did they switch? Because corn syrup prices are much more stable. They were tired of price flucuations … but corn syrup is NOT cane sugar when it comes to baking desert items – just like margarine is NOT butter no matter how you try to slice it.

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So hurry on down, grab a grandfather clock, a hunk of cheese and Coke that tastes like the Coke of yore. What’s a little surprising is now months later (July 2007), they are still stocking it. I know as I watched the first stack dwindle down but it actually got re-stocked. I’ll be sad the day it disappears (at this cheaper price – you can still buy it at Mexican grocery stores by the single for $1.29+). Though hopefully, it will be around a while, I noticed SMART & FINAL – a small club like grocery store (most items in bulk) also has the 24-bottle case for $19.99 + recycling.

The question to ask might be – why doesn’t Coke just sell a sugar cane version and call that COCA COLA CLASSIC & what they call CLASSIC now, just COCA COLA. I suspect it’s mostly they don’t want to confuse or annoy people who have been drinking the corn syrup version for 30+ years and suddenly confront them with the fact they are not drinking the Coca Cola of their youth – people might feel duped. The other reason is that even though a 12-ounce bottle costs $.79 at Costco versus a 12-ounce can that costs $.25 at Costco, a substantial portion of COKE drinkers would seek out the more expensive stuff thus probably pushing PEPSI to number one since the now COCA COLA CLASSIC’s market share would be split between a cane sugar version & a corn syrup version.

This way, Coca Cola sort of side-steps the issue since the profits still roll back to them, just from a Mexican Coke distributor versus a US distributor and they can pretend to be ‘shocked’ and put a stop to this if need be.

In the long term, the prognoisis might be good for a split as Coke & Pepsi’s flagship shares keep dropping with the tens of thousands of other beverage choices – at some point, Coke with Cane Sugar will be become Coca Cola Classic or Coca Cola “Premium” and priced accordingly and Coca Cola will be the “everyday” version.

As for the controversy regarding the importation of Coke – it’s mostly by other Coke bottlers.

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Of course, there is the whole controversy of sugar price supports …

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4 Comments

Filed under Food, Marketing

4 responses to “The Real Coke Classic: Mexico Coke with Cane Sugar at Costco

  1. a random John

    I’ll have to look for it at Costco. I buy it at specialty grocers for about $2 a bottle right now. I can’t believe that Coke has abused their flagship product in this way for so long. Bring back the sugar and dump the corn!

    (METROXING: I’ve only checked Northern Cal – presume it’s available in Souhern Cal but haven’t had a chance to look).

  2. Baron

    I purchased three 24-bottle cases from Kirkland Costco at 17.99 each, and am drinking a cool one now… so refreshing! The shelf card described the product as from Mexico with Real Cane Sugar. The cartons are clearly labeled “HECHO EN MEXICO”.

  3. Pingback: Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: Costco Carrying Case « TWO A DAY

  4. We were able to get a case at the Bellingham Costco on April 3, 2009. Clearly, it’s not a passing fad.

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