The red ‘Coke’ can could well be the most recognizable food or drink packaging in the world. Hence, when Coca-Cola decided to release a snow-white can for the holiday season, it seemed a recipe for catastrophe.
Sure enough, the soda giant has now withdrawn the white cans after weight-conscious customers said they kept mistaking it for Diet Coke and its almost-as-iconic white/silver can.
As people took to Twitter and Facebook to bemoan the extra sugar intake in their diet, people like James Ali, a deli owner in Atlanta, told the Wall Street Journal he had already refunded half a dozen confused customers who bought white cans in recent days.
Apparently, others did spot the new can and knew its contents, but felt regular Coke tasted different in the white cans (errr …). And some just plain disliked the change from red. Speaking to the WSJ, Coke fan Lucie Kamuda McHan said: “I understand why they are doing it, but they still could have kept them red and just painted white polar bears on them. I like the red ones better.”
Coca-Cola has always loved its Christmas packaging, though a white Coke can is a more dramatic alteration than previous festive designs.
As it happens, I really dig that subtle polar bear design, and the white cans were part of a good cause: a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to highlight global warming’s threat to bears’ Arctic habitat. Coke is donating $3 million to conservation efforts.
Once the current billion-plus white cans are sold out, Coca-Cola is reverting back to its famous red cans.