Beverage Bites: news up to February 6, 2015

Coca-Cola tricked into tweeting Mein Kampf; Tata Global Beverages sees green light for green tea; and more beverage bites

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Coca-Cola tricked into tweeting Mein Kampf; Tata Global Beverages sees green light for green tea; and more beverage bites

Related tags Tea Caffeine Twitter

Coca-Cola's Twitter campaign inadvertently retweets Mein Kampf; Tata Global Beverages eyes up green tea; and Bacardi revamps packaging - some of the nuggets of news in this week's 'Beverage Bites' feature. 

Coca-Cola retweets Mein Kampf as cute pictures: slams Gawker 'antics'

Coca-Cola's #MakeItHappy Twitter campaign came to an end on Wednesday, having gathered plenty of unintended attention after it was duped into tweeting chunks of Hilter’s Mein Kampf.

Coca-Cola invited people to reply to any negative comments on Twitter with the hashtag #MakeItHappy.  An automatic algorithm converted the tweets into cute pictures.

But American blog Gawker made a Twitter bot, @MeinCoke, and tweeted lines from Mein Kampf with the #MakeItHappy tag.

Consequently Coca-Cola’s twitter account published chunks of Hitler’s text in the form of palm trees, pirate ships, smiley faces, and other images – and encouraged social media users to “RT to make people :)​ ”

Coca-Cola says the campaign was not suspended (contrary to media reports), having always intended to switch off the ASII activation (picture creating algorithm) on Wednesday. 

A spokesperson told, "People have been standing with Coca-Cola to help make the internet a more positive place. We’ve seen 95% positive to neutral sentiment and interactions with #MakeItHappy, until Gawker’s antics.

"We prepared for the ASCII art execution through rigorous scenario planning, built and tested software and created incredibly extensive filters.

"It’s unfortunate that Gawker made it a mission to break the system, and the content they used to do it is appalling. All of this reinforces the need for a change online. We hope people continue to spread happiness with us and show no tolerance for haters, trolls and hackers.” 

Green light for green tea


Tata Global Beverages says it will strengthen its focus on ‘exponential growth’ in the green tea segment.

Last month it launched a range of ‘super green teas’ in the UK – which it says are the ‘first functional green teas [in the country] with proven health benefits.’ (The four new teas are supported by EFSA approved health claims, relating to supporting immune systems and reduce tiredness and fatigue)

Ajoy Misra, managing director and CEO, Tata Global Beverages, said the company will focus on growing segments such as green tea, speciality teas, functional water and pods. The comments were made as the company released its latest quarterly results.


Bacardi embraces heritage

For the first time in a decade, Bacardi has given its rum portfolio a packaging revamp.

Drawing on the brand’s heritage, each bottle includes the signature of founder Don Facundo Bacardi Masso. The makeover includes a taller slimmer bottle, and new labels made from recycled cane fibre - a by product of rum making. 

The new format was launched in the UK on Wednesday, with a roll-out planned across Europe in March and then globally in April. 

Children more familiar with Foster’s than ice-cream and biscuit brands

Alcohol Concern and partner associations are calling for tighter alcohol advertising regulations​ to protect children. Their survey of 10 – 11 year old children in England and Scotland (released on Thursday) found that nine in 10 children correctly identified the brand name Foster’s as an alcoholic product. This level of brand recognition was higher than that for McVitie’s biscuits, McCoy’s crisps, and Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream.

Brewery fined after worker loses finger

Britain’s oldest brewery business, Shepherd Neame, was fined £10,000 and £1,007 in costs after a 21-year-old agency worker lost his finger due to an incident in June.

The worker slipped and, in an effort to regain his balance, his hand came into contact with a running production machine. The finger subsequently had to be amputated.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the incident at the Kent facility was ‘entirely-preventable.’

Lukas von Grebmer

And the winner is…

Lukas von Grebmer, from Swedish start-up Six Beverages, has been crowned as’s Personality of the Year 2014. Voters recognised his work on new product development, in particular the idea of a functional beverage called ‘Akuō’ (a product based on green tea, seeking to enhance cognitive function).

And finally… good news for beer drinkers

Drinking beer could be good for you. Researchers from Lanzhou University in China say xanthohumol, a flavonoid present only in hops, could slow the development of degenerative diseases​ such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Hops have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, and researchers now point to the ‘beneficial effect of regular beer drinking.’

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