Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

What Coke Contains

This (fantastic) article from Kevin Ashton details the production resources required to produce a can of Coke, but he overlooks one critical component: water.

It’s mindblowing to consider that one can purchase a can of Coca-Cola just about anywhere in the world and it will taste nearly identical. This is because each bottling plant has its own water treatment facility. I’d know — I have seen one in action. At some production plants, Coca-Cola will pull its water from their own source; more commonly, they’ll use municipal facilities. Even though the city has treated the water on its own, the bottling plant will neutralize it to a specific purity and dissolved mineral content per Coca-Cola’s requirements.

Ashton makes the worldwide connections that produce a single can of Coke. The water, however, must be acquired locally and made identical worldwide; in some ways, it’s the inverse of Ashton’s examples.