The “healthy” new mini Coke


“The Coca-Cola mini can innovation reinforces the Company’s support for healthy, active lifestyles.”


Sandy Douglas, President,

Coca-Cola North America


Pardon my cynicism, but I’m finding Mr. Douglas’ statement a little hard to swallow.
He was talking about new packaging that the Coca-Cola Company will be introducing this winter. The mini can holds 7.5 ounces of soda, less than two-thirds of the standard 12-ounce can, with 90 calories to the standard 140 calories.

There’s nothing new about the concept. Supermarket shelves are crammed with diminutively-portioned snacks that are supposed to help with weight control and moderation. But they don’t work. In fact study after study has shown that they lead to over-consumption. It seems that the smaller size can blunt a dieter’s customary wariness; the portion is not perceived as a dietary threat. A second portion can be easily consumed and with little hesitation.

I wonder what the odds are that Coca-Cola drinkers will stop at one mini can. The scaled-down size means there is less thirst-quenching and less caffeine in each can. Two minis adds up to just a few more ounces than a regular 12-ounce can of Coke. Harmless enough, right? And the new minis are sold as an 8-pack making it ever-so-easy to rationalize that second can.

There’s also the matter of timing.
It’s an interesting moment that the Coca-Cola Company has chosen to “reinforce the Company’s support for healthy, active lifestyles.”
With obesity at crisis levels and health care costs skyrocketing, soft drink manufacturers are getting a lot of scrutiny. The Center for Science in the Public Interest calls soda “clearly one of the most harmful products in the food supply.” Senate leaders are considering a federal “soda tax,” and health advocates are floating an assortment of food regulations as part of the government’s health-care overhaul. In the midst of all the hub-bub, Coca-Cola’s message feels calculated and disingenuous.

And about that mini can— it’s all relative. At 7.5 ounces it’s bigger than the classic contour glass bottle that so many of us grew up with.

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2 Responses to The “healthy” new mini Coke

  1. They are such good guys– always looking out for the bottom line, I mean our waist line.

  2. Nancy says:

    Great post. You are so right. Purely a PR move to sell more of their chemistry-experiment-in-a-can and at the same time claim that they care about public health. Doubt this will be halting the obesity epidemic sweeping the US.

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