15 August 2008

Visit to the World of Coca-Cola

Drew and Rachel in front of the World of Coca-ColaToday, my wife, one of my brothers-in-law, one of my sisters-in-law, and I went to the World of Coca-Cola, which is kind of like a museum. Although the first time I was in Atlanta was a dozen years ago [during the 1996 Olympic Games] and my family and I had visited the Coke place then, apparently, this is a new exhibition that just opened last spring. Also, (and obviously) there were not as many people as there were then in the Olympic village. They had some movies and an exhibit with Coca-Cola paraphernalia (along with amusing note that "The display of these materials in this museum is for historical and educational purposes only and is not intended to imply endorsement by any person or organization of The Coca-Cola Company or its brands today." !) and a little assembly line where visitors could see how the bottling process takes place.Drew at Taste It! with a cup in his hand at the World of Coca-Cola
However, Coca-Cola is known for its beverages and, to that end, the highlight of the building was the tasting area, "Taste It!", toward the end [right before the obligatory gift shop]. In the tasting area, they had eight different beverages to taste from each of five different world regions (oh, yes, that is quite more than the eight different beverages that are at EPCOT (which I enjoyed)): Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America in addition to having a separate section for various Coca-Cola products. After trying all 32 foreign beverages, my favorite was Kinley from England and the runners-up would be the various apple sodas. People kept talking about the Beverley beverage, but it wasn't as bad as some of the others. One of the interesting facets of the World of Coca-Cola was how much they tried to show that they are not a large, cold heartless global corporation. This was shown throughout, especially starting off with their fake documentary, "Inside the Happiness Factory: A Documentary", with various creatures, including some fuzzy little creatures that kiss the bottles. Anyways, I think they did a nice job in trying to show that they appreciate various world peoples, that they are very philanthropically involved and that they are generally warm and friendly.
Also, I noticed that the bathroom smelled nice and speaking of water, apparently "The Coca-Cola Company strives for water efficiency in its operations", specifically at the World of Coca-Cola, "minimizing the amount of water" used, "including motion-activated, low-flow faucets and waterless urinals" (from a sign entitled "Water Efficiency").

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