Servings of Coca-Cola can look like Russian nesting dolls at times, the small can capable of hiding in the larger cup, which fits neatly inside the yet larger cup—and so on and so forth.
The BBC’s Jeremy Paxman had a number of these varied soda sizes on hand when he interviewed James Quincey, the president of Coca-Cola Europe, late last month. Pulling out progressively larger cups, the “Newsnight” host grilled Quincey about their sugar content. “Do you think people have any idea how much sugar is in it?” he asks, holding up a cup, which doesn’t bear the same nutritional information as a can of soda. Paxman pours out a stream of sugar packets, 23 in all; he later does the same for a larger large, which contains the equivalent of 44 packets of sugar.
Quincey, for his part, sticks to his line that Coca-Cola is trying to get the information out there regarding sugar content, so consumers can make an informed decision. But he says this too: “I think we do need to recognize that things do need to change. The bigger cups do need to come down [in size].”
Did you hear that, Michael Bloomberg?