As the percentage of the clinically obese in America is higher than it has ever been and continues to rise, people are more and more seeking easy ways to better their health condition and obtain all the nutrients that they required. A convenient truth that has recently become more popular is that the liquids that people consume can be more responsible for weight regulation than the choice of food. This has given rise to vitamin water. The market for such a product has grown so much that Coca-Cola could not resist to get in on it.
One could ask themself – Is Coca-Cola aiming to heal the world with this vitaminwater… or simply to increase their profit? Well, in a perfect world, of course, they would want both. However, when you think realistically, there is an inverse relation between the two. The healthier people become, the less they would be buying said product if it was in fact effective. Hence, the smaller Coca-Cola’s profit would become. The beverage giant has apparently taken this into consideration and realized that it would not be a viable decision for them to make an effective nutritional liquid. It is probably not surprising to anyone that such a big company would put its profits above the wellbeing of the people.
Coca-Cola decided to view the inverse relation, mentioned above, from a bit of a different angle and came to the following realization. If the vitaminwater worsens one’s health conditions instead of improving them, they would be able to retain their customers so long as they successfully and continuously market their product as a health-booster.
Creating a product that is bad for you is something that no one in their right mind would underestimate Coca-Cola from being able to create. They just decided to go with their proven effective method of packing it with sugar, 33 grams per bottle to be exact. To make sure that the drink goes along its intended purpose (to have vitamins in it, but to also not improve health), they added just the right unsubstantial amount of actual vitamins – about a penny’s worth.
The more tricky part is marketing it so that people get swayed into thinking it’s actually good for them. Of course, when you are a $71.3 billion corporation this is not too difficult of a task. They have reportedly spent over $1 billion in their vitamin water line, paying NBA stars, such Lebron James and Kobe Bryant, to stand behind the products and claim that they can be used as a healthy way for consumers to hydrate.
In 2009 the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in allegiance with two law firms pursued a lawsuit against the top-dog beverage company to prohibit the claims that their vitamin water has a beneficial effect on a person’s eyes and joints and that overall it leads to better physical and mental health.
During the initial hearing the court heard the defendants (Coca-Cola) audaciously suggest that no one was ever misled to considering vitamin water for a healthy beverage.
The lawsuit ended in April 2016 with a settlement where Coca-Cola were barred from making their health improving claims about the drink and the words “with sweeteners” were to be added on 2 places on the bottle’s label.