Long shelf life means short ‘my’ life
There was an interesting discussion about popular brands and strategies. On that note, this post should have gone to my ‘Marketing blog’ but the thoughts are very personal. There will be a very few areas that may remotely relate to marketing in this context from my point of view. Hence, it is published here.
With that explanation, here goes:
Pepsi & Coca-Cola(and all the soft-drinks that come under the banner), have become household names even in the remote villages of India. It has not reached a point where it acts as a substitute for tap water that most Indians drink till date but their presence cannot just be ignored. On an average, we end up drinking at least 3 litres of any of these in a month, What does it mean to us?
I am not covering much on how the indigenous brands like Gold Spot, Bovonto etc. have been mercilessly sidelined due to a variety of reasons from pricing to marketing to what not. But, the impact on our longevity & health is much more than alarming.
The controversy that arose due to the usage of pesticides in these drinks was pushed under the carpet by the Government which operated back then. But, did it in anyway change the way we looked at Pepsi/Cola? Yes, it did. It was seen as not much of a threat & we began to believe in the Khans & the Kapoors of Bollywood that acted in Ads visiting the factories. Our trust on our celluloid icons was well-utilized to restore the brand image of these drinks. But, what exactly was the issue? Why don’t a majority of us even remember Dr. Sunita Narayan?
Well, here is the story. The same quantity of Coke is priced at one tenth of the price in the US. The shelf-life has to be increased to make it available in consumable condition for a longer duration to make good for the cost. This directly reflects in the amount of allowable preservatives. With the amount of red-tapism and the back door policies prevalent in India, even the laws could be modified with the exchange of a few dozen briefcases and that is what should have happened. Out leaders give a s*** about the welfare of our health. Nevertheless, in most cases, they aren’t even aware of the injurious effects of those chemicals in the human body. Well! Its only natural when the Food Minister never ever studied chemistry or biology. The only way he would know about human anatimy is by counting some bones that he broke to get to the Parliament with an office in the South Block.
Now, that is not within our span of control at least within 2014. I don;t believe that things are going to get any better even then. What is within our span of control is to not kill ourselves by drinking slow poison. It is not fashionable/mandatory to make slow-poison be a part of our birthday parties. It would only reduce the ones to come. It is not a cool thing to sip poison while enjoying a movie. Brightly packed colorful cans with the Kaifs, the Khans & the Bachchans aren’t doing any good to us except shooting our blood sugar levles, making our doctors richer, shooting our medical bills and reducing our life span.
So, stop killing yourself and find out better alternatives which are many.