Collection: Mohnish Pabrai - #113 'Buffett's Investment In Coca-Cola, Part 5 Issues'



[Transcript]

MOHNISH PABRAI 00:00

And now you know the thing is many of you are sceptical because of the whole sugar issue, right? Like if I ask you to drink Coke, most people say no because I don’t drink sugar, right?


So they actually addressed that this year at the annual meeting. So Warren says that, you know, he’s 86 years old, in great health, been consuming five Cokes a day, Cherry Coke since he was six years old. And you know, so he dismisses all these health issues people bring up with sugar and whatnot.


And he says that you know, he wishes he had an identical twin brother who spent his whole life eating broccoli and he said if I had my this identical twin who would just drink – broccoli and you know, plain water, then we’d have a test. We would see him at 86 and we see me at 86 and we see who was healthier. Okay. (Laughs)


Basically, his perspective was that and I think he talked about it as a joke, but then Munger actually elaborated. He said it is very dumb to discuss negatives about a product without discussing the positives, right?


So, one of the things we have to realize as humans is that, yes, excess sugar has problems, you know, causes health issues and whatnot. But having a Coke at certain times, we’ll add a lift to your step, right?


And so that lift to your step, it’s very difficult to quantify and I think this is the reason why Warren says he wishes he has a twin brother because the thing is that guy lives such a happy life on all fronts that I think science doesn’t fully understand the impact of low stress and happiness on health, right? So there’s an impact there, which we don’t fully realize but, you know, I’m pretty sure is there.


So yes, if you go wild and crazy, and you know have huge amount of sugar consumption and then that leads to health issues, there’s a problem. But you know, you can be Usain Bolt drinking two Coke a day and be just fine, you know. So there is a – so they don’t see the sugar issue being a significant issue for Coke.


And the second issue with Coke is they now have more than a hundred brands. A large number of their brands including Coke have no sugar and a large number of them even have no carbonation.


So it’s, you know, when you get to these places, they’re not pumping Coke over there. They’re pumping Coke, they’re pumping Dasani, they’re pumping Minute Maid, they’re pumping all kinds of products through that distribution engine, right?


So, it’s not just sugar being pumped through, it’s a sugar – And the other thing about the company is just to tell you how, you know, Coke has made a lot of blunders over the years. So one of the blunders they made is that they never wanted the Coca-Cola product to have anything, but the true core product in it.


So when there was a concern about sugar and people are talking about diet drinks, they did not want to create Diet Coke and they did not want to call it Diet Coke. And they did not want to take that beautiful bottle and the red colour and mess with it, didn’t want to do that. So they – what they did is they called that product “Tab."


Okay, how many of you heard of Tab? Some of you, yeah see the older guys, older guys heard of Tab. And for the longest time, Tab was this, you know, stepchild and then the Tab became Diet Coke.


You know, eventually they realized that we can put the Coke bottle with the Diet without sugar and might still work and it worked. So they got to it.


(Source: https://youtu.be/jfxOvdiac94)

 

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