Big soda companies are really scrambling to re-brand their former public image, which casts them as peddlers of obesity- and diabetes-inducing sugar water. That’s why soda companies vowed earlier this year to cut American soft drink calories.You’ve probably seen an uptick in advertising for smaller soda sizes, as well as “natural” sodas from Coke, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew, made with real sugar and sugar substitutes like Stevia. But Coca-Cola is also trying to send more subtle messages: According to AP, Coca-Cola has employed dieticians and fitness experts to mention Coke in their blog posts and research findings on healthy snacks.
For instance, Coca-Cola attached its name to several blog posts and online pieces about American Heart Month in February, subliminally sending the message that yes, you can drink soda regularly and still be heart (and everything else) healthy. One such blog post suggests consuming a “refreshing beverage like a mini can of Coca-Cola” alongside healthy snacks.
"We have a network of dietitians we work with," Ben Sheidler, a Coca-Cola spokesperson, told AP about the February paid posts. "Every big brand works with bloggers or has paid talent." Coke also confirmed that any content that they pay nutrition and fitness experts for will always be fully disclosed. This was the case in this blog post for Patch, and in a post from The Nutrition Planner.
In a statement, Coca Cola said that the company wants to "help people make decisions that are right for them" and that the company works with health experts "to help bring context to the latest facts and science around our products and ingredients."
The Daily Meal has reached out to Coca-Cola for further comment.