Skip to comments.Soft Drink Politics: 'Mecca Cola' Takes Off In France
Posted on 04/30/2003 2:00:55 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
While some people express anti-U.S. sentiment through terrorist attacks or noisy demonstrations, a Tunisian-born French businessman has created a soft-drink company whose aim is to protest America's foreign policy.
Tawfiq Mathlouti launched his company, the Mecca Cola Beverage Company, last November in Paris. He touts his soft drink as an alternative to Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola and says it's primarily a "political product."
To date, Mathlouti has sold 14 million 1.5-liter bottles in supermarkets and grocery stores in Europe, the Middle East and even some African nations, and he said he has orders for 600 million liters through the end of December.
"It is a political product, which is using a commercial support platform," Mathlouti said. "It is an act of political protest against American-Zionist crimes. We are very angry at American policy."
A new Mecca Cola factory in the Moroccan city of Casablanca is due to go into full production in June. Each bottle of the soft drink says, in the local language: "No more drinking stupid, drink with commitment" and "Don't shake me, shake your conscience."
Mathlouti gives 20 percent of his net profits to charities, including 10 percent to organizations helping Palestinian children and 10 percent to local charities in the countries where the sales originate.
Nicholas O'Shaughnessy, professor of communications and marketing at the University of Keele in Britain and an expert on propaganda, said Mecca Cola's marketing techniques are a completely new kind of protest that could be more than just a passing trend.
"It is taking over the system of consumer signification and giving it a political meaning. Nobody has exploited the politics of the consumer before," O'Shaughnessy said.
"The special feature is the particular message which is being conveyed: that we're not anti-West. This is a political protest against America, not a rejection of Western culture. It's saying, 'we like your culture but we don't like your politics.'"
Mathlouti confirmed that view.
"We are taking what's best in American culture and we are fighting them with that. We don't have hatred or a rejection of the West," he said. "We have an immeasurable hatred for American policy."
Mathlouti described American policy as "based on crime, segregation and the exploitation of others, and of plundering, and theft."
He was equally vocal in his criticism of Israel's government.
"Zionism is a criminal and racist ideology close to Nazism, which I will fight without stopping," he said.
"But that has nothing to do with being Jewish or not being Jewish because that's an old accusation, saying that if we are against Israel we are against the Jews. We are not against the Jews. There are many Jews who are against Israel, against Zionism, against crimes," he said.
Mathlouti has even sold a container of Mecca Cola to a distributor in Detroit and said that discussions are currently underway for expanded distribution in various U.S. states.
Since Mecca Cola's introduction last year, start-ups have launched other political sodas including Qibla Cola in Britain and Muslim Up in France.
As to the future, while some have contemplated the possibilities of other "Mecca"-branded products, Mathlouti said it is too early to discuss that.
However, he said would like to expand Mecca Cola to Latin America, specifically to Venezuela and Argentina, where he believes his product will appeal to wide anti-American sentiment.
"We will dethrone Pepsi and Coca Cola from all the other countries that are fed up with American hegemony, and not only Muslim countries," he said.
BTTT, especially with parts of Paris burning.
Always thought Coke tasted better with real sugar, now I know to look for it as "Kosher for Passover". Learn something new everyday.
And now for the rest of the story...
Confidential sources have indicated that this is in fact a CIA plot. The secret ingredient in Mecca Cola is an extract from pig's blood...
If you have any doubts, heat it and it smells like bacon.
American-Zionist crimes? what???
Constantly repeating an accusation apparently lends it some credibility apart from the evidence.
Maybe Achmed Cohen..
It would really be a shame if people started an online urban legend saying that this product contained pigs blood.