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Citizen Coke

The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism
Written by: Bartow J. Elmore
Narrated by: William Hughes
Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
Categories: Money & Finance, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Coke's insatiable thirst for resources shapes the company and reshapes the globe in this absorbing history.

Coca-Cola's success in building a global empire out of sugary water drew on more than a secret formula and brilliant advertising. The real secret to Coke's success was its strategy, from the beginning, to offload production costs and risks onto suppliers and franchisees. Outsourcing and a trim corporate profile enabled Coke to scale up production of a low-price beverage and realize huge profits.

But the costs shed by Coke have fallen on the public at large. Coke now uses an annual 79 billion gallons of water, an increasingly precious global resource, and its reliance on corn syrup has helped fuel our obesity crisis. Bartow J. Elmore explores Coke through its ingredients, showing how the company secured massive quantities of coca leaf, caffeine, sugar, and other inputs. Citizen Coke became a giant in a world of abundance; in a world of scarcity, it is a strain on resources and all who depend on them.

©2014, 2015 Bartow J. Elmore (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Glad I stuck it out...

Glad I stuck it out... but this wasn't a riveting read (or listen).
This definitely wasn't what I expected. Many years ago I read about the debacle when Coke changed its formula, which I found quite fascinating, but the marketing implications of this were barely mentioned in this book.
This was more like a text book, documenting the original formula, all the sugar, cocaine (yes, its true), caffeine and water wars and challenges, distribution, licensing and packaging. I faded in and out, but there were occasional bright spots, such as the interesting effort to get a cold Coke in the hands of every soldier, every day, around the world.
I found the end depressing, but informative. Would we have all the world water shortages and heaps of plastic and aluminum waste, and even recycling, if this magic black potion was never invented?
I don't know the answer, but it made me look at the Diet Coke can next to me with new eyes.
Don't read this if you're looking for marketing or amusement, but I recommend it if you are studying or working in purchasing, manufacturing and distribution. Or need your eyes opened wider than a cold Coke will do on a hot day.

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interesting history

I'm sure there's 2 sides to every story, however, I can't believe the Gov't support they were given time and time again. I'm exaggerating, but they're right up there with oil and pharmaceuticals.

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A must have in your library

Love this book, it's extremely educational and everyone needs to listen to this and the content.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chris Rafa
  • 2015-04-14

Enjoyed this fascinating story on Coca Cola!

I especially like how this book divided its chapters based on the ingredients making up coca cola products. Overall very insightful!

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  • Laura
  • 2020-02-22

Highly Recommend

This book is fascinating. If you want to understand large corporations and how they interact with government, the public, and world economies, you would find this an interesting read. I never imagined how far reaching the tentacles of such a corporation could be. Various factors that came together to make Coca-Cola the success it is today are explained. The author did much research to put this together. This book includes great background of world economies and government reactions through the past century. The narrator did a great job with the text. The chapters of the first half of the book are sorted by Coke's key ingredients and covers the company's history from 1886 through 1950. The chapters of the second half of the book are cataloged by the impacts of the corporation and covers the company's history from 1950 through today. I found the first half of the book more engaging than the second half, but it was all engrossing and I recommend this book.

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  • Nicole Broome
  • 2015-08-16

This book is fascinating and important

If you enjoy educational texts and critics of capitalism, this book is for you! It's information dense but in a great way

1 person found this helpful