For the first time ever, Coca-Cola will release a line of special cans that celebrate Summer. On the collector's cans, the signature logo is incorporated into fun images of Summer that include a surfboard, barbecue, and aviator sunglasses. Since Summer is my favorite time of year, I'm loving these cans. How about you?
If you've been preparing to mourn the loss of Roquefort cheese, we've got good news for you: Yesterday, the United States struck a deal with the European Union, agreeing to drop its proposed tariff on Roquefort cheese, and products like Spanish ham and Italian mineral water.
The stink over taxes first began 10 years ago with a European Union ban on hormone-treated American beef, yet over the last few months, the controversy has heated back up. Before leaving office, President Bush proposed a 300 percent tariff on the pungent blue cheese from France. But when the tax was postponed, it appeared that the two countries were trying to work out a compromise.
Although insiders are calling this a "first step" toward resolution, it doesn't completely address the problem at hand, and there are still many other measures that need to be taken. The agreement has to be approved by a number of officials from European Union countries. While the USDA maintains that hormone-fed beef is safe to eat, the EU still believes hormones could create health risks such as cancer.
The beef issue will continue to be a contentious one, but it's great news for Roquefort fanatics like myself. I can't wait to celebrate with a hunk of the creamy, pungent blue cheese! Will you do the same? Where do you stand on the beef issue?
If you're short on cleaning supplies, or don't want to spend the money on them, look no further than your refrigerator to get your toilet sparkling clean. Just pour a can of Coke over the yucky stains inside your toilet and let it sit for at least an hour. The acids in the soda will break down the grime. If your toilet is super grimey, use a couple of cans of Coke, and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Then, just use a toilet brush to loosen the filth from the bowl and flush! Your toilet will look like new. Fini! Who knew?
Although Pepsi-owned (and recently renamed) Mtn Dew carries as much as 80 percent of the market share for citrus soda, Coca-Cola's three-year-old citrus cooler Vault, with four percent of the market share, has fizzled with customers. Hoping to turn the tides for Vault, Coca-Cola will soon begin its "Don't Dew It" campaign.
In an attempt to convert Mtn Dew die-hards into Vault fanatics, the company will be giving away coupons for free 16-ounce, 20-ounce, or 24-ounce Vault drinks when customers purchase a 20-ounce Mtn Dew.
During the economic downturn, consumer coupon use has skyrocketed. Like other recent promotions, industry experts anticipate that the "Vault Taste Challenge," will see a huge participation rate from consumers. Of course, for Coca-Cola, it will come at a price — that of at least a couple million dollars.
Although I think this campaign will be successful, I'm skeptical of Coca-Cola snagging a significant portion of Mtn Dew's market share. I used to be a huge Mtn Dew fan, and Surge, Mellow Yellow, and the others just didn't do it for me. Do you think it will prove to be lucrative?
Coca-Cola is perhaps the most classic of American drinks, however the company has announced their plan to remove the word "classic" from its name. "Classic" was added over twenty years ago, in 1985, to signify that the brand was making a return to using the original recipe. Now with a global approach to advertising, the word is no longer beneficial to the brand. In the current ad campaigns, "Coke side of life" and "open happiness," the word is not employed. According to a spokesman from Coca-Cola, the "classic" is totally unnecessary:
It felt like the right time. When people think Coca-Cola, they think classic. More than two decades after the introduction of that word, its reason for being a descriptor has disappeared.
The beverage company doesn't foresee any customer backlash and has already removed the "classic" from fountain drink cups. I'm not affected by the change; to me Coke is classic. How do you feel about it?
France and the United States are engaged in another food war, and this time it's not over fries. The French government was infuriated by the legacy that President George W. Bush implemented right before leaving office: enacting a colossal tax on France's prized Roquefort cheese. While he imposed a 100 percent import duty on many products from the European Union, the former US President singled out the pungent blue cheese for a 300 percent tariff. As a result, Americans will soon be unable to buy Roquefort.
In a letter to newly inaugurated President Barack Obama, French parliament member Philippe Folliot called for the removal of the steep duty. If the high tariff doesn't change, he said, there may be unfortunate consequences. "Symbol versus symbol," he said. "Since the United States has decided to surtax one of the most ancient (cheese) appellations, I think that the French government, with the European Union, must think about a heavy specific tax on imports of Coca-Cola concentrates produced in the US."
I hope Obama reconsiders the tax on Roquefort, so the US and France can return to more diplomatic times. Americans can still enjoy their Roquefort and the French can drink all the Coke they want.
What do you think — does it seem fair for France to tax the US in retaliation for a large tariff on Roquefort?
Earlier this week, the Coca-Cola company announced it would begin selling three flavors of diet Odwalla juices sweetened with Truvia. Derived from the somewhat controversial herb stevia, Truvia had yet to be approved by the FDA when the Coca-Cola company made its announcement. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, the soft drink giant received word from the FDA that Truvia is now "generally recognized as safe" by the agency. Pepsi-Co also received word that its stevia-based sweetener, PureVia, won the agency's approval as well. SoBe Life Water, made by Pepsi-Co, will soon be releasing three zero-calorie flavors sweetened with their stevia-derived sweetener, and Coke will begin using Truvia in Sprite. Look for the "generally recognized as safe" drinks in supermarkets near you.
Apparently, FDA approval can wait. This week, the Coca-Cola company will begin selling a diet drink sweetened with the somewhat controversial herbal supplement stevia. For three diet flavors of its Odwalla juices, Coke will use the Truvia brand of sweetener, which it developed in partnership with Cargill earlier this year.
Unlike most of the products derived from the stevia herb, Truvia isn't labeled as a "dietary supplement," but it has yet to be approved by the FDA. Coke is moving forward with Truvia-sweetened products anyway, though PepsiCo is still holding off. For the details, read more
We love it when a tried and true brand does the lifestyle route and ups the anté on their packaging, particularly when it means a change at some of our favorite restaurants and hotels. Coca Cola, the only brand of carbonated sugar water we drink, recently designed new aluminum bottles that are appearing exclusively in New York's top restaurants, hotels and nightclubs including The Modern, Four Seasons, Michael Jordan's Steak House, Hotel Plaza Athenee, St. Regis, Mandarin Oriental, Strip House, Golden Pear in the Hamptons Peconic Beverage Center in Southampton and Peconic Beverage Center in Southampton
The bottles keep your Coke as cold as can be and should you leave your bottle unfinished they are both portable and re-seable. If you are looking to give your liver a break this bottle makes being a teetoller look pretty good. It has hunky polo player Nacho Figueras' seal of approval.
And what with the price of drinks this could be a real pocket book saver if you want a night out but feel silly without something stylish in your hands. Or for the more devious, with its resealable top you can pour in your own rum for a perfect rum and coke and sneak your way into a cheap drink. But you didn't hear that from us. Nor did we suggest that with a cleaning it would make a great flask in its second life.