Coke sales go down, Coke tree goes up

The 2013 Coca-Cola Christmas show at Plaza Sendero in Mérida.
The 2013 Coca-Cola Christmas show at Plaza Sendero in Mérida.
The 2013 Coca-Cola Christmas show at Plaza Sendero in Mérida.

Efforts to discourage sugary drinks in Mexico have had some success, but Coke still means Christmas at Plaza Sendero.

Coke and Pepsi sales have declined in Mexico since the country imposed a 1-peso tax on sugary drinks and junk food, a pro-health initiative that began Jan. 1.

Both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have reported beverage volume declines in Mexico for the first half of the year, and they cite the tax.

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The mayor of Mérida and his wife pose with Santa and Mrs. Claus at last year's tree-lighting ceremony.
The mayor of Mérida and his wife pose with Santa and Mrs. Claus at last year’s tree-lighting ceremony.

Mexico has the world’s highest per capita consumption of Coca-Cola drinks, and among the states, Yucatán’s consumers consume more Cokes than anyone else.

PepsiCo plans to target different package sizes for different outlets in a plan to mitigate the effect of the new tax, reports The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Mérida’s Coca-Cola Christmas tree is going up in anticipation of a Coke-infused Christmas festival.

The “Tree of Coca Cola” in Chuminopolis is already being assembled with recycled bottles. At 42 meters high, it is the tallest of all public trees in the city. Three workers on scaffolds are working eight-hour days to get the tree erected and illuminated in time for the holidays, according to Diario de Yucatán.

By December, the annual Coca Cola Christmas Show, with the usual Christmas story and a Fantasyland of games and rides, will be staged.

Related: A similar tree in Mexico City was the subject of debate.

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