Sugar & San Francisco

My mind has always been prone to flights of fancy and as such some last a moment and others might hang around for a week or two.

One such flight is my utter amazement at the fact that two of the biggest companies in the world are built around selling what amounts to carbonated, flavored, sugar water.

I am sure that many of us baby boomers have consumed our share of either Pepsi or Coke and even though I haven’t had either for several years, I can still tell you the differences between the two drinks.

Having moved to North Carolina from Michigan in the late seventies, I was surprised at the fact that the locals seemed to consume “drinks” at most every meal. It was either that or sweet tea. And of course as a northerner, I called these “drinks” soda’s.

But I digress: the flight of fancy that perpetuated this recent post was a story I read the other day about San Francisco’s attempt to place a warning label on all sugary drinks. And of course the soft drink industry was not going to sit still and allow that to happen.

Almost three years after the cities proposal, an appeals court decided that the warning violates the rights of drinks manufacturers. The warning would have read, “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay” and would have made San Francisco the only major city to use a cigarette-style warning on soda bottles.

Now remember this is the city that has a huge homeless population and has gained media attention around the lack of facilities to take care of the bodily waste produced by this particular populous. And they are worried over sugary drinks. Kind of like getting the cart before the horse it seems to me.

I remember the last time I bought a Pepsi. I put my money into the vending machine at work, popped the top, and after the first swig, wondered what had prompted me to purchase it. After I returned to normalcy, I poured the rest of the soda down the drain and have not looked back.

Pepsico, the company that markets Pepsi and other consumer stuff, is currently trading on the stock market at about $112.00 per share. In contrast, shares of Apple are trading at about $175.00 today.

Which leads me almost to the end of this addended flight. Who would have thought that the bottled water industry, of which Pepsi is a major player, would have reached the $100 billion dollar mark this past year. That folks, is lot of water. If we had invested in this a decade or so ago, we’d all be living the high life on some tropical island paradise.

I could say more, but I have said enough for this day’s “ride”. Hope you are well fed and well watered.

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