The Cherry Coke Zero Project

August 9th, 2013 by Potato

I’ve written a lot about personal finance, investing, and saving lately. I’ve joined or led letter-writing campaigns for tax sanity, landlord-tenant reform, and internet competition’s usage-based-billing issue. But now it’s time to mobilize around an issue of true national importance: the distinct lack of Cherry Coke Zero in our stores.

It’s quite frankly ridiculous that Canada doesn’t have Cherry Coke Zero available*. It’s 2013, we’re supposed to be living in the future here, not like savages with nothing but plain Coke Zero on our grocery store shelves. It’s particularly disturbing because so much of Coke’s advertising is Canadian-derived: polar bears, Santa, happy people not shooting each other (go ahead and check, hardly any Coke ads feature gun violence, it’s extremely Canadian), and frosty glasses with condensation (wait, that one isn’t Canadian, but does happen here**). Though created in America, Coke’s second home is clearly Canada — and we are beyond a doubt Coke’s muse — yet we get tossed aside on flavour selection like unrepentant Pepsi fanatics saving up for a Harrier jet.

It’s time to do something about that. I have laid out a plan of action to bring Cherry Coke Zero to thirsty Canadians everywhere***. First, I will ask, politely. That is the Canadian way. Below I’ve pasted the letter that I have sent to the public contact address**** on Coke’s website.

Coca-Cola Canada
335 King Street East
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 1L1

August 9, 2013

To Whom It May Concern;

Cherry Coke Zero is, simply put, a wonderful beverage. Whenever I’m in the US it seems to be the only thing I drink. Like many Canadians, if I’m driving south of the border and don’t have a restrictive baggage allowance, I’m sure to bring a few cases home. They quickly run out though, and I am left wondering: why doesn’t Coca-Cola sell Cherry Coke Zero in Canada?

Presumably your market research has indicated that the Canadian market lacks the demand to make introducing a new flavour of Coke worthwhile. I don’t know what methodological errors your market research people made, or if the lack of Cherry Coke Zero was merely an oversight and the market hasn’t actually been studied yet, but I assure you that the demand is there in Canada, with many vocal proponents of the flavour.

Indeed, three of the top ten Google search results for “Cherry Coke Zero” are of Canadians discussing where to find and buy the product they love. The biggest buzz around the few Freestyle machines in Toronto is that they are a way to get an occasional taste of Cherry Coke Zero without taking a five-hour drive. The multitude of other flavours do not merit a mention.

The question pressing on my mind is: what will it take to convince Coca-Cola Canada to bring Cherry Coke Zero to Canadians? My sincere hope is that nobody has thought to simply ask before now, and that this plea alone will soon bring 12-packs of the delicious nectar to a grocery store near me. Please offer Cherry Coke Zero in Canada. If merely asking is insufficient, what would sway the leadership team? Masses of people would be eager to sign a petition; hunger strikes are not really the forte of myself nor my fellow Cherry Coke Zero aficionados, but we could try. Do I need to petition the heads of Loblaws, Sobeys, and Metro first?

I hope to hear exciting news about changes to your product line-up soon.


If that doesn’t work, I will bring out the memes. Naturally the first will be the Futurama’s “shut up and take my money!” one. If that doesn’t work, there will be more, possibly with cats, likely with polar bears*****. I’ll give that a few months to work, until it’s nice and snowy, setting the scene for the final stage: unleashing polar bears on King street. I haven’t yet secured a loan from the Toronto Zoo for the bears, as there’s a lot of paperwork and they’re not satisfied with my proposed display of setting them free to run amok until our beverage demands are met, as the swimming and other environmental enrichment components are not up to their standards. As a backup I’m trying to see how many Cherry Coke Zero fans are among the polar bears swim club ranks.

* – with the exception of expensive single-serve Coke Freestyle machines at select fast food restaurants and movie theatres. A few weeks ago I paid $3 just to get a single-serve Cherry Coke Zero at Hero Burger. PS: Hero Burger your prices suck.

** – 5 months of the year.

*** – or maybe just in southern Ontario, because once I get mine I’m probably not going to care enough to carry on the campaign.

**** – Does anyone have John Guarino’s address?

***** – it’s the internet, it’ll be cats. Maybe at best, cats in itty bitty polar bear costumes.

2 Responses to “The Cherry Coke Zero Project”

  1. Sandi Says:

    You really ARE out to change the world. Also: I hope it comes to the polar bears on King Street. Really, really hope.

  2. Potato Says:

    No, why hope for that extreme demonstration? Hope for Cherry Coke Zero ASAP.

    PS: Coke’s social media people responded on Twitter, implying that Freestyle machines somehow satisfied the demand for CCZ, though that was explicitly acknowledged as insufficient.