Coca-Cola is one of the biggest brands in the world. It is a symbol of much more than a black carbonated soda. In the past it has represented capitalism, it has represented competition, and it has represented freedom. Today Coca-Cola is readily available nearly everywhere in the world. When Burma started to sell Coca Cola in 2012 it left only two countries in the world not selling the famous beverage.
North Korea and Cuba are the two remaining countries without Coca-Cola for sale. Both countries have had trade embargoes with the US for many years and it continues today. While you are not officially able to get the soft drinks in either country it appears the drinks are readily available. Today Coca-Cola can be purchased in both countries on the grey market or as a cheaper imitation. Whether the real stuff will ever be officially sold there is a political question, not a soda question.
Throughout history, Coca-Cola has been seen as a symbol of America. While the company has never been interested in politics its global success and branding have often made it an international symbol of the success of one of the world’s biggest companies. This is true to such an extent that in history many countries have chosen not to sell it based on how much they hated the US. In the Cold War, Russia didn’t sell any Coca-Cola and Pepsi sales soared. When the Berlin wall came down in Germany, people took the streets drinking Coca-Cola as a symbol of freedom. In 2003, there were protests in Thailand where people poured Coca-Cola in the streets to show their disapproval of the US invasion of Iraq.
However, despite these political associations and how bad it is for your health, the company is still doing pretty well. The latest annual reports indicate strong growth in developing countries around the world.