Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why can’t anyone duplicate Coke?” Good question. (OK, it’s a bit “old school” but again it beats answering those questions about some of your more particular personal peccadilloes. We thought a “Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich” was just something you had for lunch with your ice cold Coke, mmmkay?)
It has something to do with cocaine. Rumor has it that Coke originally contained actual cocaine and it was later replaced with something else to maintain the trademark “bite”. But let’s hear from our guest speaker Yoni Heisler contributor to BGR who is a self-described “soda connoisseur” who is “adept at all things soda related.”
So why can’t anyone duplicate Coke? Heisler says: “It’s a good question, particularly because most other generic soft drinks do a pretty good job of copying the flavor of brand name competitors. (So) how is it possible that generic 7-up or grape soda can fool our taste buds, yet finding a generic cola capable of mimicking the awesomeness that is Coke remains all but impossible?”
(Yeah, dude, that’s the question. What’s the answer though oh “King of carbonated beverages”? It has to do with cocaine, right?)
Heisler confirms: “You’re absolutely right — the answer involves cocaine. Based out of Illinois, the Stepan Company is the only commercial entity in the United States which is allowed to import coca leaves.”
He continues: “With permission from the DEA, Stepan imports upwards of 100 metric tons of coca leaves each year, primarily from Peru. Upon receipt, the company extracts the cocaine from the leaves whereupon they are shipped to Coca Cola. From there, the transformed coca leaves are incorporated into Coke’s semi-secret syrup recipe.”
The Coca-Cola Company once told The New York Times: “Ingredients from the coca leaf are used, but there is no cocaine in it and it is all tightly overseen by regulatory authorities.” The newspaper also reports: “The cocaine that Stepan derives from the plants is sold exclusively to (a pharma company named) Mallinckrodt.”
So if you become addicted to Coke, don’t think you have to go to rehab. If you really want to stop drinking it then you should have no trouble “just saying no”.
Why can’t anyone duplicate Coke? Now you know.
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