January 27, 2007
Have you tried Caffeine-Free Coke recently? It seems that every few years I will think to myself, “I hear caffeine isn’t so good for you and sometimes I’d like to be able to have a Coke and have it not keep me awake, I think I’ll try it.” I always immediately regret that decision on first sip. The memory eventually fades and the cycle will begin again. Apparently I’m not the only one who despises it.
For Christmas, the family was coming over so a great number of cases of soda were purchased. It was all loaded into our new ‘soda fridge,’ which is our new mini-fridge in the kitchen that has a clear door. The soda fridge saves the amount of time the door will be open and keeps me from having to venture the entire way into the kitchen, where I can easily get lost.
By accident my mom bought two cases of Caffeine-Free Coke. A mistake like that was unforgivable, especially since we had no caffeinated Coke. We decided to put one of the cases in the fridge, hoping to confuse some people and return the other case.
The soda fridge had been ravaged throughout the day and was left in a depressing state. It looked like a once great town that had fallen on some hard times and everyone deserted it. Only a few stragglers remained, and they were not in there original place or laying on their side. Except for the caffeine-free coke. Two cans had been taken out, the rest were still in place, undisturbed.
Who buys this stuff and why do they sell it?
My guess is that its a similar thing to Diet Coke, only people aren’t at all concerned about caffeine. I can’t drink Diet Coke, it tastes terrible, yet people seem to like it. Most I’ve heard talk about it didn’t like it at first but then got used to it. I think if there were a caffeine backlash one day people would eventually get used to the taste of caffeine-free coke and it would be as popular as Diet Coke.
I don’t do coffee. I’ve never been in a Sarbucks, I have to cross to the other side of the mall when passing the coffee bean store. When I worked in a grocery store I held my breath whenever I had to be around that isle. I don’t think I’ve ever even tried it because I can’t get close enough. So my aversion to coffee really has little to do with the caffeine. Still, it does seem like a drug. The amount some people drink everyday and that they say they couldn’t function on a daily basis without it. Those seem like warning signs to me.
So Coke is well-prepared for a Caffeine-Free world, while Starbucks would have to close down or find another line of business (which they apparently figure out based on Idiocracy).