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Mecca cola,the new coke

  1. croupier

    5,447 Posts.

    A French muslim is having a shot at the bastion of USA,the Coca-cola company.He is marketing a cola that has slogans printed on it.Is this what George meant by the axis of evil..........

    THE US may be girding for war with Iraq, but it is already fighting "cola wars" throughout the Middle East.

    As a boycott of US products spreads across the Islamic world, Muslim manufacturers are taking on the big US brand-names by producing their own fizzy drinks.
    Factories in Iran making Zam Zam Cola are struggling to keep up with demand for their version of Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

    Ten million bottles of Zam Zam have been exported to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries in the past four months, and the Iranians are working overtime to churn out enough of their cola to slake the thirsts of the 2 million Muslims expected in Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

    The soft drink has been so successful that others are racing to get in on the act. Tawfiq Mathlouthi, a French-Muslim entrepreneur, will launch Mecca Cola in Paris next month. No superstar is being paid millions to sing its jingle, but there will be an advertising campaign promising that 10 per cent of the profits will go to a Palestinian charity for children.

    Mr Mathlouthi admits he has taken the idea from the producers of Zam Zam, but says he has had inquiries from interested parties in Belgium and The Netherlands.

    His launch is being timed for the start of Ramadan, when the call for a boycott of all US brands will be stepped up. US companies such as McDonald's, Starbucks, Nike, as well as the cola giants, admit the campaign is hurting them. Sales of Coca-Cola have dropped by up to 40 per cent in some countries, and are still falling.

    In Morocco, a government official estimates sales of Pepsi and Coca-Cola could fall by half in the north, a stronghold of Islamic groups. In the United Arab Emirates, sales of the local Star Cola are up by 40 per cent over the past three months.

    The Islamic cola companies say this is an easy way for Muslims to punish US President George W. Bush for his Middle East policies.

    Mr Mathlouthi said Mecca Cola would "answer the needs of world citizens by contributing to the fight against American imperialism and the fascism of the Zionist entity". The advertising agents promise to come up with a snappier slogan.

    Advertising chiefs say the cola campaign represents a new attack on the US grip on fast food, soft drinks, leisure wear and cigarettes.

    Rita Clifton, chairman of Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, said: "Coca-Cola is the world's most valuable brand – worth £45 billion ($128.5 billion) – so it's not going to be put out of business. But no company wants to be boycotted, or have its product poured out in the streets by protesters."

    Zam Zam's executives are delighted at putting one over on the "Great Satan", but are careful not to gloat in their advertisements. Similarly, while Coke and Pepsi are stepping up their promotions in the Gulf, they do not want to get dragged into a war of words with Zam Zam.

    The cola is named after the waters that flow from the Zamzam holy spring in Mecca. The drink exceeded all expectations by selling 4 million cans in its first week. After the success of its original cola, Zam Zam now comes in other flavours such as orange, lemon and lime.

    For many years Zam Zam was Pepsi's Iranian partner until its contract was ended after the 1979 revolution. Zam Zam was taken over by the Foundation of the Dispossessed, a powerful state charity run by clerics, and today employs more than 7000 people in 17 factories in Iran. It plans to build factories in the Persian Gulf.

    Its cola is already exported to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq, and the company says it will soon ship its drinks to Lebanon, Syria and Denmark – its first European client. Zam Zam marketing manager Bahram Kheiry rattled off the inquiries he has handled in recent weeks from France, Canada, Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and several countries in Africa.

    Coca-Cola executives distanced themselves from US Middle East policy. A spokesman said: "We are a business, so we do not get involved in political issues."

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