Coca Cola has come up with a great way to make more money: Give you less Coke for more money and get you to think it's doing you a favor.
Coca Cola is branding the 7.5-ounce cans as "90-calorie portion-control mini-cans." That translates into they want you to keep drinking Coke, which you might not do if you were concerned about all 140 calories of sugar in the 12-ounce cans.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest -- the nation's food police -- shopped around for the shrunken cans and found the 8-packs selling for $3.99. That compares to 12-packs selling in the same stores for $4-$6. The per ounce price consumers are paying for the mini cans ranges from 50% more to more than double the cost for Coke in regular-sized cans.
This isn't entirely new for Coke. In 2006, the company was marketing its 100-calorie cans. The difference? Those were 8 ounces compared to the newly shrunken 7.5 ounces that weighs in at 90 calories.
The smaller cans were released in New York City and Washington, D.C., about a month ago and the rollout will expand to the rest of the country and be well underway by March, according to Coca Cola.
"The only 'innovation' here is that Coke is charging more money for less product," CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson said in a written statement. "Now the company wants a pat on the back for selling little cans of water and high-fructose corn syrup for $8.50 a gallon."
Coke was unmoved by CSPI's observations, maintaining that the new size and its new price are in keeping with what consumers want and pay for similar products.
"CSPI continues to miss the point of what Americans are looking for to help them manage their diets and live healthy, happy lifestyles," a Coke spokeswoman wrote to WalletPop. "Our consumers have told us they want more options when it comes to size, and smaller thirst occasions and we listened. The new 90-calorie Coca-Cola Mini allows consumers to enjoy the great taste of their favorite drink in a smaller, portion-controlled package. Our pricing is in line with other portion-controlled packaging in the marketplace. We strive to ensure that our pricing is in line with demand and we are listening closely to what our consumers have say on the mini can."
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