Citizen Coke

  • by Bartow J. Elmore
  • Narrated by William Hughes
  • 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Coke's insatiable thirst for resources shapes the company and reshapes the globe in this absorbing history.
Coca-Cola's success in building a global empire out of sugary water drew on more than a secret formula and brilliant advertising. The real secret to Coke's success was its strategy, from the beginning, to offload production costs and risks onto suppliers and franchisees. Outsourcing and a trim corporate profile enabled Coke to scale up production of a low-price beverage and realize huge profits.
But the costs shed by Coke have fallen on the public at large. Coke now uses an annual 79 billion gallons of water, an increasingly precious global resource, and its reliance on corn syrup has helped fuel our obesity crisis. Bartow J. Elmore explores Coke through its ingredients, showing how the company secured massive quantities of coca leaf, caffeine, sugar, and other inputs. Citizen Coke became a giant in a world of abundance; in a world of scarcity, it is a strain on resources and all who depend on them.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I'll never drink a Diet Coke again!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book is definitely worth listening to/reading. It starts with a history of the invention (who would thought that the origins of Coke go back to France and Italy's?) and charters in general terms it's rise to power and domination on the market. Main part of the book follows the ingredients list on a Coke bottle and talks in turns about water, sugar, coke etc. It is an amazing and thrilling history of America seen through the the Cola's bottle (lame joke, I know). It touches many issues like the power of lobbying, agriculture, international affairs, competition, advertising, law and many more.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Citizen Coke?

I learned about:
the correlation between artificial sweeteners and midriff fat (I'm never having a Diet Coke again!!!);
Why we buy bottled water and we pay for it arm and leg;
Why there is no coke in the Coca Cola and why it doesn't matter;
That CC employs only seven thousand people around the world, everything else is outsourced and if it goes bust CC doesn't care and does not loose money;
CC actually makes only syrup. The rest is made by others.


What does William Hughes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Unless you need to reference it for academic purposes, listening to it is simply more enjoyable and, let's be honest, more energy efficient.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. And I did with only breakes for food, work and sleep.


Any additional comments?

I will listen to it again. Wealth of knowledge if you want to argue the pros and cons of modern corporate culture and lobbying.

Read full review

- carrosvoss

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-11-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.