“How do we motivate people to make soft drinks … part of their morning ritual in the same way as tea or coffee?”
This question was contained in a June 2013 Coca-Cola Enterprises report evaluating the changing breakfast habits of consumers in both North America and Western Europe. I cringed when I read this quote reported by Jonas Felciano, an analyst for Euromonitor International.
I spend a lot of nights each year with the Hilton family and am intrigued by the number of guests who consume soft drinks at hotel breakfasts. I want to know why a soft drink is their breakfast beverage of choice.
What prompts someone to say, “Waiter, I’ll have scrambled eggs, toast, and a Coke?”
I often cite this breakfast scenario when asked about tea’s ability to help us lose weight. Yes, tea can boost metabolism by about 4.5%, which translates to 100 extra calories burned in a day. That’s not significant – until you substitute a cup of tea for that breakfast Coke. Then you have removed 150 calories and burned an extra 100. That adds up to a decrease of 250 calories or about a 10% reduction in calories for an average person.
That could lead to real weight loss – as long as you don’t add sugar to your tea!
The rising popularity of tea and coffee is causing concern for soft drink companies as they see their market share flat line. Coca Cola now relies more and more on their brands of bottled water and ready-to-drink teas to fill the profit gap.
I think they’re fighting an uphill battle as consumers gravitate toward a diet based on less sugar and healthier choices.
Back to my Hilton breakfast – I suspect the habit of drinking Coke at 8 AM might be as much a ritual for some as drinking tea is for me. I sometimes get an evangelical urge to leave a tin of tea on their table along with a pamphlet promising that “tea can change your life if you will only turn away from the sugary evil of Coke.”
On second thought – the Hilton family might not look kindly on that outburst, and I might lose my Gold status.
For now, I’ll restrain myself and sip my fourth cup of Assam in silence.

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