Westernised society is known for its indulgent behaviour, but with increasing health and obesity scares, what are we doing in response? Schools across Australia and indeed the world have stopped providing certain soft drinks to help tackle the rising obesity levels in children.
Yet, adults at the supermarket do not have the same kind of restrictions. The big companies like Coke and Pepsi as a result are now promoting smaller cans containing lower amounts of calories. The psychology behind this marketing tactic is to induce less guilt in customers. What many don't realise though is that this comes at a price to the customer, which in some instances can actually mean you end up paying between 5 to 10 times more per litre than you would on other sized containers.
Since the arrival of Coca Cola to our supermarket shelves in 1937, other companies have decided to join the bandwagon helping create today’s vast variety of soft drinks in stores. The soft drink giant is now changing the industry yet again by providing smaller sized cans to meet the needs of people who prefer more modest portions.
For the majority of populations, Coca Cola is considered a "delicious" drink which explains why it’s the most consumed soft drink in every country across the planet, besides Scotland (where IRN-BRU is at top of the list). But, recent research into its negative affects on our health has swayed public opinion on the product. Many now view it in a similar light to cigarettes or sun tanning, hence the companies shift to meet changing consumer buying patterns and habits.
Coca Cola’s answer was the release of its mini cans containing just 200ml. In Australia this can will cost you around $2.19 for a single can at Coles, which is equivalent to $10.95 per litre. Comparatively, buying a 1.25L bottle would cost you $3.07 or $2.46 per litre. While the largest bottle, the 2L, is usually the best value for money at an average cost of $4.39 or $2.20 per litre.
Thus, a direct comparison between the per-litre cost of a 2L bottle ($2.20 per litre) versus a 200ml can ($2.19 per litre) shows that Coca Cola are happy to charge its customers five times as much for the "privilege" of purchasing the smaller version.
Going a step further, you will see that Woolworths currently has special offer on 2L bottles of Coke for the equivalent of just $0.99 per litre. This means that you could actually end up paying 10 times as much per litre for the 200ml can by comparison. These rather disproportionate prices are pretty revealing in terms of the premium that the company expects customers to pay simply for choosing to drink out of the most popular sized quantity of their beverage.
My advice? If your health is a priority, simply try to stop drinking soft drinks all together. If however, you can't let go of your "Coke fix" just yet, then the smarter approach is to avoid getting lured into the trap of buying those commonly sized 8 packs of 200ml mini Coke cans. This 2L quantity will generally cost you around $8.79. As suggested above, by heading over to Woolies to take advantage of their "2L Coke for $1.99" offer instead, you'd be saving yourself a staggering $6.80 for the exact same quantity. Then simply grab a measuring cup at home to divvy out each 200ml serving to ensure you continue enjoying those "guilt free" measures of Coke.
On a final note, its not just Coca Cola who are shrinking their products and charging more, there are numerous companies doing it across the globe. I particularly liked this article released in 2012 that showed how manufacturers are shrinking their products but still charging the same price. If this is news to you, you better get over to Choice.com.au because they have been discussing it since 2009.