Monday, October 15, 2007

The Crush Cream Soda Conspiracy, part 3

I was out shopping on Saturday and went to Wal-Mart, where I bought the last remaining items I needed for Halloween candy. While I was there, I picked up another Crush Rainbow Pack of pop. I purposefully stuck a can of cream soda from the new pack into the fridge to chill. I opened it the next day, and it was indeed the usual red color.

Similarities: Crush rainbow pack, 24 cans, all the same flavors. Identical can design and ingredients listing.

Differences: Old can had a gold top and "Quebec" written on it with the recycling message. New can had a silver top and did not say "Quebec."

Additional info: From visiting my brother in Montreal, I know that they do not color their margarine in Quebec. It is actually illegal to color margarine to look like butter in Quebec -- the dairy industry believes that colored margarine would hurt butter sales. Read more about that issue here.

Conclusion: Perhaps cans of Crush Cream Soda are not colored if they are manufactured in Quebec.

This is somewhat of a stretch, because the colored margarine issue in Quebec is strictly a dairy industry issue. However, it's odd that both margarine and Crush cream soda manufactured in Quebec are missing color. Another piece of the puzzle.


Cyn said...

Fanta is also, I believe, made by Coca-Cola. Hmmm perhaps some mix-up in the brand switchovers?

I, for one, am really unhappy seeing Fanta in the coolers in place of my precious Crush!

John said...

Have you called back and suggested this on your work order? Might be good info they can use to correct the issue.

Good detective work. Keep it up.

mare said...

scott says they always made two kinds - he used to work for coca cola bottling.

liz said...

Crush is bottled by Pepsi. I have an email in to someone who works at the Pepsi plant to see if they know anything.

mare said...

so's dr pepper and yet they bottled it there too.

liz said...

If it was/is bottled at two different plants, that still doesn't answer the fundamental question of why they would make two different kinds, yet bottle it into the exact same packaging which lists "colour" as an ingredient. Nor does it answer why the company which owns the brand insists that it is always supposed to be red.

Scott said...

Perhaps I can clear up some confusion:

Dr. Pepper is owned and made by the Dr. Pepper company in the USA. Local companies have the license to bottle it here depending on who wants to buy the license. In some areas it is the same people who bottle Coke, in others it's Pepsi. I remember that fr a sad stretch of time in the mid-80s, no one was bottling it around here; probably because Cherry Coke was doing well and the local wisdom appears to think there is no room for two cherry colas.

Clear and red cream soda have both existed on and off for as long as I can remember. The Fanta brand (owned by Cadbury in the UK, I believe) was locally distributed by Coke and the Crush brand by Pepsi. However, for our market they are probably manufactured in the exact same place, with slight modifications to the formula depending on who the client is.

Next to Coke and Pepsi, the largest manufacturer of soft drinks in the world is Cott, who have the contracts to make every generic brand of pop under the sun (ie., PC and other store brands). Chances are pretty good that they are also under contract to make the minor brands distributed by Coke and Pepsi bottlers. The only reason Coke and Pepsi have their own factories is to control the formulas of their own core brands.

As a rule, the manufacturers do not like to have pop transported halfway across the country, which is why there are bottling plants in Moncton, Halifax, and one in PEI I think. I'm surprised we would get something bottled in Quebec down here, but since it is Wal-Mart and they have their own massive distribution system, they probably truck everything down from a distribution centre there. It is very possible that there are local laws in Quebec restricting the use of dyes and other ingredients that would distinguish one cream soda from another. The distributors may have grabbed a truckload that was intended for consumption in Quebec.

A manufacturing error is also entirely possible (if not likely)- it could be as simple a matter as a few hundred or thousand cans going through the pipeline before someone noticed that they were supposed to be canning another product. It happens.

Cyn said...

Yip after reading some more I did find that Fanta is owned by Cadbury UK. In Canada it is pretty much bottled with Coca Cola products from what I can find.

Also, it's possible that the person you spoke to originally knows nothing of the possibility of it being different in Quebec because there may be an entirely different call centre used for that geographic area. Plenty of companies separate things this way. So it may be more of a lack of information to employees than anything!

mbowman002 said...

Cadbury products are franchised out, but internationally 7up, Dr Pepper, and Crush rights are owned by Pepsi Bottling Group while in the States it is varied. Fanta both US and Internatinally is distributed by Coke.

The Quebec cans have nothing to do with different locations, but in fact are a designation regarding the deposit required in Quebec.

There are two kinds of Cream soda a Red and White thus the color changes.

Pepsi has one call center that handles all of Canada, but many employees are not clear on the distinctions in the Allied Brands. These are brands that are not distributed universally inside the Pepsi system due to many factors including franchise obligations and local market restrictions.

Hope that clears it all up for you

Jaron aka Bananatree said...

The clear cream soda tastes like cream with soda, the red stuff tastes like strawberry, cream and soda.

I'm in Quebec now and I am having troubles figuring out which is which when buying from cans.

Anonymous said...

Here in Canada, Ontario (probably other provinces too, but I'm not sure which) has red cream soda.

When I was in Newfoundland this summer, I found that almost all cream soda brands (including Crush) were clear, not red.

I suppose Quebec is the same.

(clear Crush tastes better, too. It's stronger, I think)