Meet the Old Coke, Same as the New Coke?

Some things never change.  Or do they?

Today’s NYT Magazine notes a “cult” of American consumers obsessed with “Mexican Coke” – Coke produced with cane sugar, rather than with corn syrup.

The Wall Street Journal had the same story more than three years ago, and the WSJ did it better.  Maybe there’s a relationship between paywalls and quality journalism after all?  (Chad Terhune, U.S. Thirst for Mexican Cola Poses Sticky Problem for Coke, The Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2006, page A1.)

Back then, I posted this note about the trademark law implications of “Original [Mexican] Coke” being sold in US stores.  The Coca Cola Company insists that “Mexican” Coke is “real” Coke, that is, indistinguishable from US Coke on the palates of consumers, if not indistinguishable in their minds.  But if TCCC is wrong, then is the “Coke” trademark in jeopardy?

Back in 2006, Grank McCracken offered typically insightful analysis of the problem from a marketer’s standpoint.

2 thoughts on “Meet the Old Coke, Same as the New Coke?

  1. Cheerwine, a local favorite here in North Carolina (which, despite the name, is a non-alcoholic cherry-flavored soda-pop) also comes in both cane sugar (glass bottles) and corn syrup (plastic) versions. I’m partial to the cane sugar/glass bottle variety myself.

  2. They’ve sold Coke made with sugar in the U.S. for years – during passover, and in the big markets. Tastes pretty close to the “original” but all the same packaging other than a different bottlecap with the local kashrut oversight authority’s stamp.

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