Thursday, March 02, 2006

And We Thought the Dutch Were Thrifty

by tee bee

Who turns soda cans or bottles in for the refund anymore?

The Belgians do, and they'll drive a few miles to get a better price for them.

Thrifty Belgians are causing a headache for Dutch supermarkets by gathering large numbers of plastic Coca Cola bottles and bringing them across the border to the Netherlands to collect the deposit, Dutch media reported Tuesday.

The scheme takes advantage of a recent move by Coke's Dutch arm to introduce new bottles that are identical to the ones used in Belgium - but the Dutch bottles carry a euro0.25 (US$0.30) deposit.

And in a bit of spin that oddly sounds like reverse-marketing, Coke bothers to respond:

While the Netherlands' NOS television reported that Belgians were bringing bottles across the border in "massive" numbers, a Coke spokeswoman downplayed the story.

"There are incidents, but I probably wouldn't use the word 'massive'," Marte van Esser said.

So you're saying that Belgians don't drink that much Coke, or that not so many of them are nutty about the return price? Because the latter answer doesn't sound right, if this is in the news...

The most interesting part is that Coke is trying to break out of a long price war in the Netherlands that had them selling for bargain-soda prices. Their response is to sex up the bottle and raise the price 30%?

Coke needs new marketing blood.


At 11:02 AM, Blogger Cassandra said...

And we are supposed to envy their economy?

I think not.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

Or perhaps their education... what is the going price for a litre of gas in Belgium, anyway, and how many pop bottles does it take to fill a tank?


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