Thursday, February 24, 2011

The New Quosh

A lot has been made of the new Kraft "liquid flavoring" product Mio. But in the spirit of what is old is new again, it looks to me that it is just a re-imagining of what is often called a coridal in the USA, and orange squash in England.

Their opportunity has been the stick pack powder business that has grown dramatically in recent years. The brand leading that charge has been Kraft's own redoubtable Crystal Light. Now they see the chance to make the er-constitution category more contemporary - and reach a younger consumer.

Certainly I applaud their creativity in their "Liquid Water Enhancer", but unless there is a significant taste improvement, it may struggle to sell at the premium price they are asking. People fundamentally buy reconstituted products to save money.

So this is a good opportunity to show an old Quosh package - but I'm struggling to find one. Instead here is some vintage advertising that is from way before my time...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Make Your Own Coca Cola

This week Ira Glassman's This American Life (I am sourcing their Facebook page because their homepage has been overwhelmed) has an interesting exploration on Coca Cola - and its taste.

We all know the story that the Coca Cola recipe is a guarded secret because it cannot be replicated. Well, Ira used a published potential original recipe from the Atlanta Journal Constitution to see if he could replicate it.

Here's the recipe I transcribed:

Coco Cola - From 1897

To create the flavor base mix the following:
20 drops Orange Oil
30 drops Lemon Oil
10 drops Nutmeg Oil
5 drops Coriander Oil
10 drops Neroli Oil
10 drops Cinnamon
8 oz Alcohol

In a separate container mix:

2 oz of the Flavor Base
3 oz Citric acid
1 oz Caffeine
2 1/2 Gallons Water
2 pints Lime Juice
1 oz Vanilla
1.5 oz Caramel Coloring
30 lbs sugar
Fluid Extract of Coca (yes - the one with Cocaine)

Ira Glassman had this made up by Jones soda and Sovereign Flavors- only to discover that it is not necessarily about the generic ingredients but the source of the ingredients that can make a difference. And that flavor technology and tastes have come a long way since the 19th century.

In my experience a good flavor technologist can  replicate the taste of Coke - or Pepsi. The guys at RC used to test my taste buds by presenting store bought Coke vs their lab-made sample. I could not pick the difference - and often preferred their lab sample.

Is the above recipe correct? Or an abandoned ancestor? Tough to know. But it also shows that it has become the strength and distribution of the brand that is as or more important as the taste or efficacy off the product.