Posted by: David Kiley on January 5, 2007
I have recently been sent what may be a secret strategy document from Coke regarding its Enviga beverage [See Burt Helm’s BW story], which the soft drink company says will “burn” calories when you drink it. I can’t confirm its authenticity, but the content of the document certainly seems true, so I’m inclined to believe it.
“To: E. Neville Isdell
From: New Product Development Dept.
Re: Enviga Potential
Date: July, 11, 2005
We seem to have cracked the code on developing a soft drink that marketing will be able to say “burns” calories when you drink it. Of course, we think this is a great breakthrough to hand the marketing department.
Will a product like this actually help anyone control their weight? Is it good for anyone? Of course not. But, as you know, when it comes to losing weight, or the prospect of losing weight, or the illusion of losing weight, a wide swath of the American public are morons. Case in point: heavily caffeinated energy drinks and cups of coffee that cost over $4.00. How we missed these two trends, I’ll never know.
We believe that young people will embrace Enviga, especially young women who say in poll after poll that they would rather be deaf or blind rather than fat. We are positively giddy here in the research department thinking about silly teenage girls, and boys too, pounding a six pack of Enviga at a time in a fog of delusion that they will lose enough weight to fit into that little black dress or to make weight for a wrestling match.
If we had to compare this breakthrough to another product, Sir, it might be none other than diet Coke. As you know, while NutraSweet made it possible for us to provide a no-calorie caffeinated pick-me-up, we have ample evidence that the artificial sweetener also stimulates appetite, and often leads to those people drinking no-cal sodas to eat more food.
But, we are in the soft drink business, not the health business.
As an aside, Sir, we are worried about continued erosion of the diet Coke franchise. Many of our friends have taken to mixing their own, GASP!, soft drink at home. The way this works is that they buy a bottle of no-sodium seltzer. They pour a glass and then flavor it with about one ounce of fruit juice. I confess I tried this concoction, and found it far more refreshing than our own products. I hope you don’t mind me saying that. Perhaps we can build a business case for a product that would combine seltzer with pure fruit juice.”
Before the lawyers call….let’s keep our tongues in our cheeks.