Bunhill: Champs Cola

IN VIEW of the supermarket's rift with 'the real thing', it's hardly surprising that Champs Cola is not available in Sainsbury's. But the drink is said to be a big seller in the Tescos and Asdas around Old Trafford.

View from City Road: Canning the can, not losing bottle

There follows a rough summary of the embarrassed squeaks coming out of Sainsbury yesterday. 'No, no, no, no, no - of course not, don't be so silly. The fact that we have been forced, after protracted negotiations with Coca- Cola, to redesign the packaging for our own-label cola brand will have absolutely no effect on the hundreds of other copycat products we offer. This is just a one-off commercial decision, taken in the interests of harmony with an important supplier. There was no evidence that consumers were confusing the brand with Coke. Yes, Sainsbury has been taking market share away from the real thing like there's no tomorrow but this has nothing to do with the fact that the new product is virtually indistinguishable in terms of look. Rather, it is that it costs 20 per cent less and tastes a whole lot better. No, the truth is that Sainsbury has decided to repackage the product out of courtesy to Coca-Cola. There was never any question of David Sainsbury caving in under threat of legal action.'

Sainsbury gives in to Coke: Retailer will change design of its own-brand cola cans after 'amicable discussions'

COCA-COLA yesterday triumphed in the brand wars raging between manufacturers and retailers when it persuaded J Sainsbury to change the design of its own-brand 'Classic' cola to make it look less like Coke.

Letter: Little 'own' about 'own-brand'

YOU ARE unfair to the owners of established brand names ('The real thing put to the test', Business, 24 April). They are not seeking to prevent supermarkets from providing customers with 'own-brand' products. The problem is that there is little 'own' about them. They are, in packaging and presentation, pastiches which seek to filch the goodwill and reputation built up over time by the brand names.

Letter: Dispatches from the cola wars

Sir: I read through the article on Coca-Cola and Sainsbury's cola (19 April) and it made me laugh a lot. How anybody could be so choosy about which cola they drink, I do not know. The bit that really made me chuckle was Thomas O'Neill's comment that 'if you drink Sainsbury's cola, people think 'cheap cola, cheap person'. If you drink Coke, it's credit.'

Another real thing

The Coca-Cola Company is introducing a new carbonated beverage called OK. The company said it would be on the market in 30 days and would be sold in 150 countries.

Letter: Open wide: ah, cola

Sir: If the new Sainsbury's Classic Cola comfortably beats old fashioned Coke in rejuvenating old coins (report, 19 April), then presumably it will also be better at eroding the enamel from the teeth of those who drink it. Acid erosion of the teeth from dietary sources, resulting in thin teeth which chip readily and become diminutive at an early age, is an increasing problem. Carbonated drinks appear implicated as major factors in this unnecessary form of tooth destruction, quite apart from the dental decay to which many of these drinks also contribute.

Cola taste-buds tell the difference

THE WOMAN on the Sainsbury's checkout was pretty clear: 'It's a bit bitter actually.'

Campaign afoot to undermine cola challenger

COTT CORPORATION, the North American soft drinks manufacturer which is threatening to upset Coca-Cola and PepsiCo by launching an own- brand cola for Sainsbury's, has become the target of a whispering campaign. Soon after Cott announced that it was entering the UK market, British newspapers received information packs which questioned the company's reputation.

Fashion Update: Eau de Coke

A NEW range of perfumes, aimed specifically at the under-25 and teenage market, has been launched in France, Switzerland and Belgium. The fragrances come in kitschy, flask-shaped bottles and include Savage Vanilla (based on a scent apparently worn by Masai warriors) and Rock Water, which smells like Coca-Cola. The bottle for the latter is marked: 'This is a perfume, don't drink it.' There are also three unisex scents.

Coke swallows its pride: Tim McGirk surveys India's soft drink wars as a multinational returns

MORE than 16 years ago Coca-Cola was given an ultimatum by the leftists who governed India at the time - either reveal the drink's secret formula or go.

Cola war

Pepsico, the US firm, launched a 'cola war' in Vietnam yesterday hours after Bill Clinton lifted a US trade embargo, but Coca-Cola said it was confident of getting its market share back, Reuter reports from Ho Chi Minh City. American Express credit cards went into use in Vietnam for the first time.

Keeping power through cola and candles: The local bosses of San Juan Chamula are exploiting Mexican Indians' religion, writes Phil Davison

STEPPING out of the harsh sunlight into the San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist) Catholic church in this southern Mexican village is like stumbling simultaneously into Heaven and Hell.

Three cups of coffee a day 'pose risk to unborn child'

(First Edition)

Health Update: Fruitful fizz

FRUIT juice may be worse for children's teeth than fizzy drinks such as cola, according to researchers from Guy's Hospital Dental School. Fruit juice, they point out in General Practitioner, not only contains almost as much sugar as carbonated drinks, but also has a high acid content that can erode enamel. Pure citrus juice contains most acid, followed by orange and blackcurrant squashes. Cola is low in acid and rich in phosphorous, which could strengthen tooth enamel.
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