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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Dan Calder BS: H2O v Coke (58* d) RE: BS: H2O v Coke 18 Mar 01

And this was in this morning's paper. Honest.


Coke on tap a daft dream

By Rupert Steiner / The Sunday Times

London - It may be just a pipe dream, but Douglas Daft, the chief executive of Coca-Cola, is planning to compete with water by channelling Coke through taps in customers' homes.

He has sunk venture-capital funding into an innovations unit based in New York that has created a system to mix carbonated water with Coke's secret syrup and pipe it around houses.

It would be mixed inside homes rather than pumped in from an external source.

Daft does not see Pepsi as his main competitor.

He will be happy only when people are turning on taps in their homes to drink Coke rather than water.

In an exclusive Sunday Times interview, he revealed his idea but says it is not yet ready to be launched.

"Yes, we have developed a prototype," he said.

"You would have water mixing automatically with the concentrate and then connect it all up so that when you turn on your tap, you have Coke at home.

"There's a lot more to it than that to ensure quality," Daft said.

"It has to be a sealed unit so people can't alter the formula to destroy the value of the brand," he added.

Businesses already have closed systems.

Pubs and branches of McDonald's restaurants have stored the raw materials in basements and produced Coke on the spot for years.

But Daft is keen to take the product a step further when the time is right.

"There's not a market yet," he said.

"People still like to physically go and buy things, but one day, yes, this will be a reality."

He has also sunk $1.25 million into an innovations unit that is trying to develop something called "Coke space" - an area where teenagers can hang out.

"It is being funded and developed in Europe," he said.

"The unit is trying to define what a 'Coke space' means to a teenager, so we can provide something that a teenager would want to come to."

The project began with the idea that teenagers like to hang out by standing beside telephone booths because there is nowhere else for them to go where they feel comfortable.

Daft says: "Teenagers do like to sit down and chat about intelligent things and they need to have somewhere to do that, so it came from that idea.

"We believe it will make a material difference to our revenues at least indirectly because it will make us a better brand.

"There is a chance that it may even add a revenue stream."

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