Here's the Scoop: December 7, 2011

Let’s can this idea
I’m sure many of you shared my outrage with the recent introduction of the “Arctic Home” cans – regular Coke in a white-toned can featuring a trio of polar bears — as part of a seasonal theme.
You will be happy to know that the Coca-Cola masterminds have pulled the plug on this campaign, “amid a slew of consumer complaints.” Whew!

Plus, there’s even better news: the company will be launching a new line of coke cans featuring the polar bears on the original red signature packaging! All is right with the world again.

Apparently, some consumers were so upset by the new cans that they claimed the beverage in the new cans tasted different. Some Coke fans even set up blind taste samplings and posted videos of their tests on the Internet. Sure wish I had that kind of time on my hands. Or, that I cared so much.
Another concern — this one is actually understandable — is that the new can was confusing (looking similar to Diet coke cans) and could create problems for people with dietary restrictions, such as diabetes. I’ll buy that. But, it seems like drinking water would eliminate any issues along these lines.

The cola giant took these complaints quite seriously, though. Several weeks after launching this product, the company began distributing a guide to consumers “who are used to seeing Coke in the iconic red cans.” This guide reportedly highlights the “visual differences between Arctic Home and Diet Coke cans.” Really. It’s good to know that the feelings of cola freaks are so well-considered.

Let’s see what others think...
It’s hard to believe that a corporation with the money and clout of Coke wouldn’t have done a bit more consumer testing before launching this short-term can. Then again, it’s not like they were changing what’s inside the can — despite the claims of some cola-loving experts.

Not being a soda drinker, I’m still finding the uproar hard to understand. I’m also wondering what is to become of the balance of the 1.4 billion (yes, with a “b”) white cans that were pulled from shelves? I’m sure Coke will more than make up for this inconvenience with a big spike in sales for the “red” polar bear cans.

I noticed a few months ago that the signature red packaging of my favorite coffee had been changed to something much more generic and bland. Frankly, I don’t care for the new look.
But, I bought the coffee, just like always. It tastes just the same, to me. Even after three cups, I didn’t have a caffeine-inspired need to write to the company or make Internet postings expressing my outrage with the new look. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, though, before this new look has trouble brewing for the company.
— Brian Sweeney