Cola Wars Takes on New Meaning

Feb 06, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

While the world waits for a possible US war on Iraq, a different type of battle is taking place that has its heart in the Middle East, as well.

Cola brands such Mecca Cola and Qibla Cola are seeking to take advantage of anti-American feelings in the Middle East and elsewhere to grab market share and make a political statement.

Tawfig Mathlouthi, Mecca Cola founder, has said the company will donate 10 percent of profits to a charity for Palestinians.

The Chicago Tribune reports Mecca Cola “appeared on grocery store shelves across France late last year. Originally targeted at French Muslims who wanted to boycott American products and protest U.S. policies in the Middle East, the new cola quickly caught on with a much broader market.”

Qibla Cola also pledges 10 percent of its profits will go to an Islamic charity. The company’s founder, Zahida Parveen said “The Qibla brand offers a real alternative for people concerned by the practices of some major Western multinationals who support causes that oppress Muslims. By choosing to boycott major brands, consumers are sending a powerful signal that the exploitation of Muslims cannot continue unchecked.”

Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to the anti-American
cola marketing? Would Coke and Pepsi be right to remove their products from
stores that sell Mecca and/or Qibla Cola?

We have to admit that we become suspicious when someone
wraps themselves up too tightly in the American flag. This case is an exception.
Our advice: buy and sell American. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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