Coca Cola, the brown bubbly tries very hard each year to beat their Scandinavian arch enemy Julmust in sales, but fail miserably. This year, as always, they're leaving nothing to chance, the old commercial with the coke-trucks coming to town spreading holiday joy is played incessantly on all advertising channels, and Coke's ace card is a newly designed special holiday edition Christmas bottle. Still it's Christmas as usual in Sweden and Coke watches in horror as their market share of sodas drops down to near nothing.
Seems the marketing men of Coke will never understand why Julmust is the drink to put on the Christmas table. Coke's Swedish Marketing CEO Richard Sjöberg has tried to explain to Coke USA what Julmust is, and even sent them a few bottles so that they could taste it - he still hasn't received a reply.
Julmust was invented by the chemist Harry Roberts in the beginning of the 1900's as an alternative to drinks that contain alcohol, as a huge trend of teetotalism swept the land. The sweet and spicy Julmust flavor comes from 30 different spices, among them malt and hops, but the recipe is a well kept secret. Unlike Cokes so called secret recipe this one really is as only one man knows it, Göran Roberts, the grandson of Harry. Göran and his 15 employees are busy these days mixing the extract for Julmust which appears on 97% of Swedish Christmas tables (source: scoop).
Cokes ace card are these special edition Christmas bottles that carry the famous classic Santa illustrations made by Swedish descendant Haddon Sundblom. Reactions to these bottles are mixed, quite a few people have said it looks like bubble bath or something, and not a drink. As Swedes steer away from the giant Coke soda stands in the supermarket and towards their beloved Julmust, the Coke people in Atlanta scratch their heads at their miserable sales.
I've got some advice for Coke - give it up and spend your marketing money wiser. Be happy with the huge market share you have the rest of the year and stop trying to force Coke on us as a new tradition, we already have traditions thank you very much.
If you fancy some Julmust you can order Apotekarens Julmust off the web in November, December and the easter version in April from Northerner and Kristall Julmust from Swedish specialty foods. I'm drinking a Julmust right now, cheers!
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