Anyone who has met me knows that I have a long-term addiction to Diet Coke. The addiction started when I was a teenager. My parents put a walk-in cooler in the basement after closing their restaurant. My sister worked for Coca Cola at the time, so it’s no surprise that the cooler held cases of Coke, Sunny Delight, and Tab.
Yeah, Tab never tasted all that great, but when you’re drinking multiple cans of what we called “pop” a day, you learned to overlook the funny taste artificial sweeteners had in the ’70s. I think the majority of Tab drinkers’ taste buds heaved generous sighs of relief when the company rolled Diet Coke out in 1982. (Not that I advocate drinking diet sodas… the evidence is pretty clear that they are not good for the body.) That said, I am not giving up Diet Coke. Cut back, perhaps. Stop, no.
Given my habit, you might think that I’d be the first to run out and try the new glass Riedel designed for Coca Cola. They say that the shape of the glass holds the carbonation well. They also say that the new glass exposes lemon and malt characteristics that other glasses cannot produce. Given that Riedel invented functional wine glasses, that makes a lot of sense. One of the most interesting things about the glass is that it adheres to the distinctive look and feel of Coke’s brand. That’s the real genius.
It will be interesting to see how many people buy Riedel’s new glass. It’s the first one they’ve ever manufactured for a nonalcoholic beverage. This seems like a good strategic move because it’s a wholly untapped market with one of the world’s largest brands. And yet, even I can’t see myself spending $29.50 for a pair of glasses just to enhance the experience of drinking my Diet Coke. Hmmm. Maybe that’s the difference between someone who guzzles and someone who sips.
So, what do you think? Is this a good move for both companies or is it just a marketing gimmick without legs?