World’s first Coca-Cola café now calls Malaysia home

Image via ChekSern Young

An American diner? A café? A movie theatre? Malaysia’s very own Coca-Cola café now offers all that in their brand-new location in Johor Bahru.

Located inside TGV Cinemas at Toppen Shopping Centre, the Coke-themed café which is also the first of its kind, is all dressed up in the signature red donned by every Coke bottle and is definitely an eye-catching element.

Image via Inside Retail Asia

Upon entering the café, you are welcomed into a diner that features reminiscence of the 1950s. One can’t help but be reminded of the diners seen in movies such as “Back to the Future” and “Pulp Fiction”. Other than that, precious Coca-Cola mementos and a Coke-themed jukebox makes the interior that much more aesthetic and vibrant.

Image via Inside Retail Asia

Coke beverages, popcorn, chocolate and confectionaries for the movie-goers and also Cold Stone Creamery ice cream for RM6.90 a scoop, it’s all one would need for a movie night out or just a night out in general.

Image via Inside Retail Asia

A “powerzone” is also available to use for patrons who need a charging port or power plugs for their mobile devices. Did we mention that the location also offers high-speed Wi-Fi?

The café is open from 10am to 10pm daily and visitors can get there by simply entering the Toppen Shopping Centre and then heading to TGV Cinemas. 

At the sight of a bar with a hanging Coca-Cola sign is where you’ll realize that you’re there.

L.301, TGV Cinemas, Toppen Shopping Centre, 
No. 33, Jalan Harmonium, 
Taman Desa Tebrau, 
81100 Johor Bahru, 

BBC host’s attempt at cooking rice backfires

Rice is pretty much a norm in every Asian household as it can be seen on the dining tables of various family meals at any time of the day.

Majority of Asians grew up watching their Mums preparing rice in the ever so timeless rice cooker and it plays an important role in a family meal.

However, a recent reaction video from Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng, better known as Uncle Roger, has made us realize that growing up at different parts of the world does bring differences.

Titled “Hersha’s Easiest Ever Egg Fried Rice”, BBC cooking show host, Hersha Patel was attempting to prepare the staple southeast Asian dish. 

“Don’t be afraid, this is going to be really simple,” Patel said.

Little did Ng know, he was going to be very afraid as Patel started off by demonstrating her rice cooking method by putting water and unwashed rice into a pan then boiling it, this did not sit well with Ng’s persona – Uncle Roger.

With just two minutes into the eight minute YouTube video, Ng mumbled in his comedic accent, “I am not confident that this video is not going to be good.”

At the moment the rice was put through a strainer, “Uncle Roger” wasn’t ready to hold back.

“You killing me, woman!” he exaggerated with his comedic accent when the rice went through the sift and eventually being washed thoroughly with tap water.

“Who cooks rice like this!”, “Uncle Roger sad now,” he continued exclaiming.

In other news, Ng met with Patel a few days ago and a collaboration between the two is seem to be in the plans.

We at Newswav figured to leave a step-by-step guide on how to cook rice amid this mayhem.

What to prepare?

1) A rice-cooker that could be found easily at stores or a large saucepan if you couldn’t find one.

2) A type of long grain or short grain rice (obviously).

3) Optional aromatics such as garlic, coriander, ginger etc.

Steps (Using a rice-cooker)

1) Measure the amount of rice you are about to prepare.

2) Wash the pre-measured rice by swirling it in cold water at least two times.

3) Measure the amount of water, generally a set amount of rice and slightly more water than rice (example: 2 cups raw rice with 2 1/2 cups water).


Pour the rice into the pan you’re going to cook it in. Level it out and place your index finger so that it is touching the surface of the rice. Add enough water so that it comes up to your first knuckle.

4) Drain the rice and place it in the rice cooker.

5) Use the settings on the rice cooker to cook the rice.

6) Once done, stir the rice with a spoon or chopsticks to fluff it up.

Steps (Using a stove-top and large saucepan)

1) Drain the rice well and put it the saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups of water.

2) Reduce the heat to low, put the saucepan on a cooking stove, then let it cook for 20 minutes. Avoid removing the lid during that time. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes with the lid on.

3) Remove the lid and stir the rice with a spoon or chopsticks to fluff it up.

What are your tips for cooking perfect rice? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comment section!

Why Sugu Pavithra’s YouTube videos are all deleted

Sugu Pavithra’s updated YouTube channel as of July 27th.

The famed husband and wife cooking duo, Sugu Pavithra, who have been viral since the movement control order (MCO) period has had all their YouTube videos deleted.

Referencing personal factors in an interview with Bernama, M.Sugu, 29, the husband of S. Pavithra, 28, said that he was the one who deleted all the videos after the series of events that unfolded in the past few days.

A spokesperson for the couple has since took to social media to release the following statement regarding the deletion of the videos:

Hi, the couple (Sugu and Pavithra) would like to take some time off and focus on their personal life and hence, they would not be proceeding with any brand engagement for few weeks now.”

The silver play button is gifted by YouTube to channels with more than 100,000 subscribers.

The channel boasts a following of 800,000 subscribers and were well on their way to clinching the Gold Play button by, a YouTube creator award given to every channel with 1,000,000 subscribers, but that may not happen anytime soon as the channel has now been emptied out.

Before this, it had featured up to 100 videos of cooking instructions and demonstrations; other than that, it also gave viewers a glimpse into the wholesome lifestyle of the Ipoh couple.

Ever since news of Pavithra having bruises on her lips, left cheek and right arm was widely shared around on social media, netizens had called foul play.

It was later revealed that life behind the camera hasn’t been as wholesome as the front of the camera. The YouTube sensation’s bruises and scars came from being allegedly slap in the face several times until she bled and also hit by a sickle by her husband.

Apparently Sugu resented against Pavithra for not crediting him during her Ipoh City Icon award event.

“The argument continued the next day where the man wanted to go to the hospital to find the wife’s sister. The man who was under the influence of alcohol had called up the wife’s sister to meet her but to no avail. This led the man hitting his wife,” an insider told

Pavithra has been called an inspiration by many Malaysians, she uses a cup as a phone holder to record her videos and also have been widely recognized as having a humble approach. News of her being on the receiving end of physical abuse did not sit well with many of her viewers as many had then urge Pavithra to leave Sugu.

Sugu being taken to court.

Sugu was arrested on the 22nd of July following the allegations.

He was also charged at the Sessions Court with unlawful possession of a sickle at the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun’s parking compound on July 21 and also with hitting his wife.

Pavithra said that among all the complications, she’d had chosen to forgive her husband and to put this whole episode behind them.

The couple had to undergo a rollercoaster of events under the eyes of national media earlier due to their fame; from receiving praises by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and celebrity chef Redzuawan Ismail, known as Chef Wan, to the unearthing of the presence of Pavithra on the receiving end of abuse.

Although, their famed YouTube success has drastically increased their household income, with earnings up to 8,700 ringgit (US$2,000) a month, life seemed good when compared with Sugu’s previous monthly income of about 1,000 ringgit as a plantation worker.

The couple had plans to open a restaurant next year, those plans are now unsure as their means of income from YouTube has been forfeited. 

“But that is okay, because I have hands, feet, to look for a job. Even before this, I earned money by working,” Sugu said.

On the bright side, the channel would not be staying without content for long as Sugu said that he expects their latest video to be uploaded on YouTube once discussions with various parties are finalised.

After posting bail for him, Pavithra said they wanted to live normally and just want to focus on their YouTube channel.

How Hooter’s Shady Marketing Tactic Backfired Hard

A Hooters in Tokyo is dishing up more than just wings – it's also ...

Hooters is a popular chain restaurant that was founded in Tampa Bay, Florida.

They have 400+ locations and have inspired several copycat brands such as Twin Peaks.

The business model is pretty basic: hot girls, scanty clothes, bar food.

It’s tacky, but they own it. And they apparently have amazing wings.


Most managers are men and a majority of the employees are scantily clad women. So it probably won’t surprise you that they have “employee relations” issues from time to time.

Hooters managers have a lot of leeway in how they run their operations. They are empowered to build a profitable enterprise. Tangent to this, they can run promos and deals with both customers and employees.

Back in 2002, in Panama City, Florida, a local store manager did an internal promotion. He announced that the waitress who sold the most beer by the end of April would win a free Toyota. It was your basic sales contest, a generous one at that.

One employee, Jodee Berry, needed the money badly and worked her tail off that month. She worked long hours and lots of tables. In the end, she won the competition by a large margin.

Her day came to win her new Toyota. While she was in the restaurant, the manager blindfolded her. All of the employees gathered around to watch the unveiling.

The manager then escorted her outside and into the parking lot. He then took her blindfold off, and presented her with:

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Source: Flickr pic by Haro.MX (CC 2.0 Royalty Free)

A “Toy Yoda.”

She was then surrounded by laughing employees and had to face the reality that she’d been duped.

Jodee wasn’t amused. Nor was she about to roll over.

A Story About A Waitress Who Sued Hooters For Giving Her A Toy ...
Jodee with her “Toyota”

She hired a lawyer and went on to sue Gulf Coast Wings (the holding company), claiming a breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation.

They went to court where the manager claimed it had all been an April Fools’ joke. The defense was weak, at best.

The prank might have seemed cutsie-funny to some people. But the executives at Hooters HQ weren’t amused with their manager. It was terrible public relations. This court case drew substantial attention from local and national news media.

Jodee succeeded in winning her lawsuit. It was settled out of court where, per her attorney, she was given the right to choose a Toyota of her choice.

Humor and marketing are actually quite compatible — when used correctly.

However, any decent sales promotion needs to be aligned with the best interests of both parties. Even if your promo is absolutely hilarious, lying about the reward will rarely end well.

The Hooters manager in question no longer works for the company.

IKEA’s Best-Selling Product Is Not a Piece of Furniture

An Ikea Malaysia billboard promoting Swedish meatballs - Inside ...

Dave Chappelle has a moment in his Netflix special, Equanimity, where he gives the punchline to a joke at the very beginning — and still guarantees a laugh when you finally hear the joke.

It got me thinking. Spoilers or not, some stories are so good, even if you know the ending, you’ll still want to hear it.

What if I told you that Ikea’s most successful product is not a piece of furniture? It’s a meatball.

Ikea Releases Famous Meatball Recipe, Here's How To Make Them ...

In late April, deep into the COVID-19 lockdown, IKEA released a set of instructions on their twitter and the internet went crazy.

However, these weren’t normal instructions, they were a recipe for their famous Swedish meatballs, for everyone to cook at home.

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Screenshot of Ikea’s twitter feed, taken by Geraint Clarke

A lot of my friends were cooking them on social media or were overwhelmed at the idea of this secret being exposed.

I started looking into whether this cult hit was as popular as the internet made it feel, and I was shocked at the numbers.

The Unreal Sales Figures

IKEA sells a whopping 150 million meatballs per year, dwarfing the sales of its top furniture product, the “Billy” bookcase.

“Billy,” as it’s come to be known, is claimed to be the most commercially successful piece of modern furniture with more than 110 million Ikea Billy bookcases sold since its inception 40 years ago.

BILLY Bookcase - white - IKEA

However, with over one billion meatballs sold, the meatballs sell at a rate that’s almost 22 times greater than the Billy each year. 150 million units, compared to Billy’s measly 7 million units.

From a business and marketing perspective, this is fascinating. A furniture store’s number one product isn’t furniture at all. You just couldn’t write this s**t.

Why Do They Sell Food in the First Place?

IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, held the hypothesis that hungry customers were distracted customers, but if they were sufficiently satiated, they’d be likely to shop for longer — thus buying more.

Initially tested in 1958, when IKEA opened cafes in their stores, this long-held belief is still part of IKEA’s core strategy today.

Gerd Diewald, who runs IKEA’s U.S. food operations says, “When you feed, they stay longer, they can talk about their purchases, and they make a decision without leaving the store.”

Losing Money on Purpose: Strategic Loss

IKEA Malaysia drums up publicity for its foray into the northern ...

IKEA’s policy is to try and be the cheapest meal within a certain radius of the store, even if it means selling at a loss.

In business and marketing terms, this is known as a loss-leader.

This strategy reinforces your cheap prices in customer’s minds and serves as brand awareness for the customers that don’t convert the first time.

If you buy an IKEA meal today for RM20, IKEA makes a loss, but you may also purchase RM1,000 worth of furniture, so this offsets the loss of revenue on the food you ordered.

For those customers that buy the meal but don’t buy anything else, IKEA uses that loss as marketing towards future purchases. Customers will remember having a great deal at IKEA on food and won’t be averse to coming back again when they do need to make a homeware purchase in the future.

Although this tactic works, it doesn’t suit companies with shallow pockets, so be wary about copying it.

Are We Destined for a New Era of “Business Fusion”?

Like the trend of food-fusion, or mixing cuisines from around the world, IKEA’s success may have cemented a new era of “business fusion.”

I preach to my clients all of the time about the importance of branding, consistency, and correct targeting — but IKEA’s sales outside of their wheelhouse might be a lesson to all of us. Even me.

As retail sales slowly move online, brick and mortar businesses will need to adapt, using their expensive retail locations in unique ways, or sharing the real-estate with food and beverage franchises.

Businesses have already combined with complimenting services to maximise revenue. We just don’t notice it that often.

Village Grocer My Town | Kuala Lumpur & Putrajaya | SWOT Design Group

We can already see:

  • Homeware stores with restaurants.
  • Book stores with coffee shops attached.
  • Local convenience stores with post-offices.
  • Supermarkets with in-house photo services.

The list goes on.

Each player in the market is working hard to satiate their customer’s needs and keep their undivided attention.

Time is money and if they’re not browsing your store, they’re potentially spending their money in someone else’s.

I’m not saying meatballs will be the secret marketing technique for your business, but it is food for thought (pun intended).

Thanks to Geraint Clarke

That Time When KFC Ran Out of Chicken

KFC says 'FCK' in responsive print ad after restaurants kick the ...

In 2018 a quite curious but interesting phenomenon occurred. Until that point most people probably didn’t believe that a fast-food chain could run out of food. That year UK branches of KFC suffered major losses because a new contractor was unable to supply the high level of consumer demand in the UK.

For the first three months of 2018 over 80 KFC branches in the UK were shut down because they did not have chicken. There were even small riots from outraged customers craving KFC chicken.

A Cause With Useful Information

What’s interesting is that the marketing team found some very valuable information about the consumer base within the United Kingdom: Their consumers were absolutely in love with their chicken.

How do you calm down a crowd that is craving for chicken?

They knew that creating a new supply chain would require some time, especially with the high demand, so the marketing team got creative.

When companies have problems, many try to hide the fact. But admitting to a mistake is a sign that you respect your customer base and, most importantly, the best way of retaining those loyal customers craving for KFC.

In other words, KFC has messed up this time.

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image taken from the Twitter page of KFC

The second thing that the marketing team started working on was a new advertising campaign to help the customer base go with something new until the supply chain problem would be solved. It was time to try and move the customer base towards vegan choices that did not require actual chicken, in order for them to remain open for business.

This may not sound so good for a person who craves for KFC but they offered us this:

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KFC’s new vegan burger (Image: PA)

A vegan burger, it looks the same and according to the reviews, it pretty much tastes the same, but customers were still aware that this wasn’t chicken, so they weren’t getting what they wanted. Or to put it more clearly, they weren’t getting the value they wanted from KFC.

With all the hard work and the incredible marketing that has been done to save KFC UK branches, you cannot simply change the customer’s perception about something. This is a valuable lesson for all the marketers out there.

As much as you can try to change the customer’s perception of the value a product offers, 21st-century customers are more aware of all of these things. It isn’t the 90s, when you could just shift the value perception of a customer in an instant with a supposedly better line of products.

However, I want to credit the way that the marketing team tried to work with the customer base, not only by offering them what I consider the best alternative in the situation, but also by being truthful which shows their loyalty towards their customers.

Faizal Rosly on Twitter: "KFC kalau nak bersaing kena tukar jadi ...

The story ended three months later when a new supplier of chicken was found that could handle the high demand. Sadly KFC has lost many customers in this period of time. However, after reopening all branches they have boomed, making their losses back.

I hope that you’ve identified the critical importance of the marketing team when a company is in a situation as difficult as that of KFC’s. The marketing department is the first line of defense when a company is in trouble or has made a mistake.

When the supply of something is low, to the point where it cannot be found, give some thoughts to the alternatives. Especially in these times, we have to be more thoughtful.

Written by Andrei Tapalaga

How Buffet Restaurants Turn a Profit

10 Best Hotel Ramadan Buffet In KL & Selangor For 2019

When most of us think back, we can usually remember many happy times spent at a buffet restaurant.

For me, some of the happiest times in my childhood was spent at the buffets.

But one thing I always wondered when I was a kid was how they ever made any money. I always did my best in my attempt to eat the restaurant dry, and in my mind it seemed to have worked.

The business model still exists in many restaurants today, most of which offer ‘all you can eat’ on select menu items.
The main reason for the decline of some chains, is that this style of restaurant has fallen out of fashion. They’ve also been tainted with bad reputations based on the first reason for why this model works.

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Photo by Rosie Fraser on Unsplash

Inexpensive ingredients

‘All you can eat’ restaurants started gaining terrible reputations during the early 2000’s for serving low quality food. After rumours started circulating of sickness-inducing menu items, it wasn’t long before people stopped going altogether.

Some restaurants do cut a lot of corners with the food they display in the cabinets. Some have been known to use frozen pre-made meals, others have been known to swap out high quality fish for cheaper varieties.

Another issue was how long the food stayed on display, frying to a crisp under the warm lights before being swapped out.

Bad press shut down many of the restaurants, others simply moved into hotels and casinos where people ask less questions.

In spite of the rumours though, serving crappy food was never enough to make these businesses work. Their true schemes were far more impressive.

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Photo by Leighann Blackwood on Unsplash

Soda Anyone?

One of the cheapest supplies for any large restaurant is the soda.

Soda’s such as Coca Cola are shipped to the restaurants in syrup form, held within plastic bags. A restaurant employee merely needs to cut the top off the bag and feed it into the soda dispenser, the dispenser is then able to cut it with water as it’s poured into the customers cup.

A very small portion of the soda is the syrup, the rest is water. This means that each cup of soda costs only cents for the restaurant.
(Making it all the more annoying at the movie theatre when a cup of coke costs so much).

‘All you can eat’ restaurants make sure that there are as many soda dispensers as possible around the dining room, and that your cup is enormous.
They’ll also usually up-charge your meal for the soda. So you’re paying for a soda “package” on top of the cost of the buffet.

They don’t do this because they need the money, they just want you to treat the soda as a high priority.

They want you to go out of your way to drink as much soda as possible, to get your moneys worth. This will mean that you’re eating less food and saving the restaurant money in food costs.
The soda is filling your stomach with gas, ensuring you’ll eat less. This is great for the restaurant as the food costs a lot more than the soda.

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Food placement

On a buffet line, have a look at the order in which your food has been arranged.

Highly filling, inexpensive carbs such as heavy pastas will be first in the line. They know you’re starving and that you’ll fill up your plate with these foods before arriving at the more expensive options such as steaks, fish and salad.
If there’s a seafood option, it’ll be right at the end of the line.

‘All you can eat’ restaurant plates are much smaller than normal plates, so it will fill up fast. They’re betting you’ll have no more room on the plate before you get to the end of the line.

Often you’ll tell yourself that you’ll go back, but the majority of us can’t eat more than one full plate, two at the most.

We tell ourselves all day that we’ll eat ourselves silly, but often we can’t. Often we sabotage ourselves by starving all day long, not realise that we’re shrinking our own stomachs.

We then go to the restaurant and hope to fill it to bursting, only to find ourselves feeling sick after a regular portion of food. Unfortunately our stomach isn’t like a balloon that can be shrunken down, then filled to the brim on a whim.

My favourite buffet always made sure to give us cheesy bread at the beginning of our meal because of it’s enormous amount of carbs.
Between the cheesy bread, pasta and soda; I paid RM100 to eat, but probably only ate RM40 worth of food.

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Less and cheaper staff

A conventional restaurant has a fairly large labour overhead. There are so many professionals involved in the operation of the restaurant, it can sometimes be the reason for a restaurants downfall.

However with an ‘all you can eat’ restaurant, the customer is expected to wait on themselves. The only staff needed are those cooking the food, and front of house staff who keep things clean and swap out dishes.

The staff needed to clean and turn over dishes don’t need to be highly trained and skilled wait staff, they can be almost anyone. Kids fresh out of school can do this job, or anyone else that’s willing to work for the minimum wage.

Labour is one of the biggest costs for a restaurant, so reducing that cost is the most important money saver of all.

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Modern ‘all you can eat’ options

The modern ‘all you can eat’ option isn’t an entire restaurant that offers this style of eating, although these do still exist.
Instead, the far more common sight is a conventional restaurant that offers ‘all you can eat’ menu items. A good example is Red Lobster.

Red Lobster offers ‘all you can eat’ shrimp during 6 weeks of the year. They don’t make money by giving you cut-rate shrimp, lowering staff, or placing the shrimp in strategic locations. Rather, they entice you to come by creating false scarcity.

Just like when Disney use to put their movies in the “vault” for 10 years to entice you to buy their movies on DVD “while you could”, Red Lobster only offers their shrimp deal a few weeks out of the year. They hope that people will come in droves while it’s an option.

They don’t make money on the shrimp themselves, they make money on everything else you have to buy while eating the shrimp. Things such as the soda, your entree, and a desert.

Much more important than the food though, is that they’re hoping they’ve made a repeat customer.
They’re hoping that you were so impressed by their limited time shrimp deal, you’ll come back once the shrimp deal is over.

If they’ve turned you into a repeat customer, that’s worth losing any amount of money on a one time shrimp deal 6 weeks a year.

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And that’s how it’s done

The business world is a cruel and heartless race to the top. It takes more than one strategy to succeed, and businesses need to constantly adapt to stay alive.

We’re all pawns in their game whether we like it or not. Have you been played recently?

Tarrare the Glutton, the Hungriest Man in History

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An illustration of a gluttonous man by George Cruikshank

The amount that some people can consume without hurting them is sometimes staggering, but there is no other person in history like Tarrare, the man who could eat anything. Tarrare was born on 1772, in Lyon, France. When he was 17, Tarrare weighed 50 kilograms and could eat a quarter of a cow a day. The amount would have been equivalent to that of his body.

During that time, his family realized that they could no longer afford to feed him. Banished from home, Tarrare traveled with a gang of thieves and prostitutes begging for food. Finally, he met a Frenchman who decided to use Tarrare’s appetite to get the crowds’ attention.

From Rocks to Glass and even Metal

He could start by eating things like stones or glass stoppers, then he would start eating a whole basket of apples, and in the end, he would eat live animals altogether, without chewing them first. In 1788, he suffered from intestinal obstruction as a result of this regime.

He was taken to the hospital and given a huge amount of laxatives. He recovered quickly and offered to eat his doctor’s pocket watch and chain to prove his abilities. Tarrare had a normal appearance except for his unusually largemouth, and his teeth were extremely sharp. It is said that the skin of his stomach was so long that he could wrap it around him when he was not eating.

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A representation of Tarrare with the Frenchman at a sideshow eating live animals

When the wars of the French Revolution began, Tarrare joined the French army, where he was soon hospitalized because he could not function with the food ration provided to the soldiers. He was assigned a quadruple food ration at Soulz Hospital. Not finding them appetizing, he began to eat the medical instruments. Fascinated by what they saw, the military doctors decided to perform some experiments.

A use for this special talent

During the experiments, he consumed food allocated for 15 workers, his ration including 15 liters of milk. He also ate a puppy, a live cat, and snakes to amaze the doctors. The man stayed in the hospital for a few weeks, after which he returned to the army. Here the military found a way to use his talent. He was carrying secret documents in his stomach. To prepare for this task, Tarrare initially swallowed a wooden box of documents inside.

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A scene from the Battle of Valmy, fought between France and Prussia in 1792

After defecating the documents intact, he was granted the position of a spy. His first mission was to carry a message to a colonel who was being held captive in a Prussian prison. His mind, however, was not as strong as his stomach, nor was he told how important the message he was carrying was.

The colonel was to send information on the movements of Prussian troops. Tarrare was eventually captured and searched. Initially, he did not disclose his mission, but after a few hours with Prussian agents, he confessed. The officers waited for the man to clear the message, but when they read it they thought Tarrare was trying to fool them.

After this incident, he gave up the spy position, and the doctors tried to treat his condition. Nothing worked, and Tarrare was often caught stealing dead animals to eat or trying to drink the blood of other patients. He was released from the hospital several times after being caught at the morgue while trying to eat corpses. However, when a child disappeared, Tarrare being the main suspect, he was expelled from the hospital.

The Medical Mystery Of Tarrare, A Cannibalistic French Spy

In 1798, he presented to a hospital in Versailles in poor condition. Doctors diagnosed him with tuberculosis. He died a month later.

Coca-Cola Nearly Died Because of One Decision

Coca-Cola’s decades of dominance would soon end.

Through the 1940s and ’50s, it held more than 60% of the market. Pepsi had been around but they’d floundered, going bankrupt several times while attempting to sink their teeth into the market.

However, by the 1970s, Pepsi had found its stride after several hit marketing campaigns. Where Coke’s primary demographic was older adults, Pepsi was winning over an expanding, younger demographic.

By 1980, Pepsi was only trailing coke by 3%.

This, unsurprisingly, made Coke very uncomfortable. They then did what one should never do when under pressure: overreact.

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Source: pic via Adage

They changed the original recipe.

But they hadn’t made this decision without favorable data. So what went wrong?

The Crack in the Process

Months earlier, Coca-Cola had begun “Project Kansas.” It sounds like a nuclear experiment but it was just a testing project for the new flavor.

In individual surveys, they’d found that more than 75% of respondents loved the taste, 15% were indifferent, and 10% had a strong aversion to the taste to the point that they were angry.

When researchers did surveys in group settings, they noticed the angry 10% exerted subtle peer pressure effects on the group.

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It was also called Coke II. Pic via Biz Insider

When New Coke was released, that 10% manifested in a big way. They began getting loud about their displeasure in the new recipe. News outlets began picking up on them, amplifying their voices, causing things to snowball.

A consumer action group, Old Cola Drinkers of America,formed and began to collectively protest the new recipe (some people clearly have a lot of time on their hands).

Additionally, Coke made a big cultural mistake. Coke is headquartered in the Deep South (Atlanta).

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The US has the cultural variation of 11 nations. Pic via BInsider.

Many patrons from the region saw the flavor change as another concession to the north, to the liberal minds that liked Pepsi.

At the time, Coca-Cola had a customer hotline. It was flooded with more than a thousand phone calls a day with people airing their grievances.

Confused at the sudden backlash, Coke executives hired a psychiatrist to listen in who later said, “Some people sounded as if they were discussing the death of a family member.”

Pepsi pounced — running their own ads making fun of Coke’s mistake. In turn, Pepsi and Coke’s market shares drew even.

Major media publications, smelling blood, pounced as well.

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Pic via American Treasure Tour

Invariably, Coke saw a decline in sales and, far more importantly, major damage to their golden brand perception.

The Bizarre Switch

It’s interesting that so much of the data had been favorable beforehand.

Where surveys had shown more than 70% preference for New Coke, surveys afterward showed less than 13%.

Where professional critics had said good things in prior surveys, they now became more negative, with Mimi Sheraton saying, “New Coke seems to retain the essential character of the original version…It tastes a little like classic Coca-Cola that has been diluted by melting ice.”

The trend factor proved to be massive in the perception of the new flavor. It got to the point where fans booed Coke commercials in sports arenas.

Just three months after the release of New Coke, the president of Coca-Cola aired a commercial announcing that coke would return and took the unprecedented step of announcing they’d made a mistake.

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YouTube pic via author

And hence, today, you will notice that all Coca-Cola either says “classic” on the can or “original” on the container holding the cans.

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Source: Shoplet

Coke lost $30M in the unsold New Coke inventory and the $4M on research it spent. This is approximately $82 million in 2020 dollars.

Today, the story of New Coke is a poster child for marketing disasters. It is taught in nearly every marketing program in the United States.

So where is the nuance in all this? Why did Coke catch so much crap just for changing a recipe? Three reasons:

  1. They ignored the unrelenting power of peer pressure. Many users in public found themselves avoiding New Coke for fear of judgment.
  2. They learned the importance of honoring your biggest brand advocates. The heaviest consumers of your products will have exponentially louder voices. This is why filmmakers tasked with doing remakes and sequels have such a treacherous job.
  3. They forgot the cultural value of Coke. Coke has a long history and brings feelings of nostalgia to its drinkers.

Not all products are like cars and electronics. They can’t just be tweaked and changed like a new version of an iPhone.

With the New Coke disaster, it seems there has never been a more applicable use of the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

By Sean Kernan

5 Places in Malaysia for Short Getaways

As the restrictions on travelling loosens, Malaysians have been looking for short getaways from the stressful and hectic period over the last few months. Here are a few suggestions on places in Malaysia you should be visiting.

1. Taman Negara

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What better way to escape the bustling city life than our own Taman Negara? Malaysia’s National Park is one of the most ancient tropical rain forest in the world, coming in at over 130 million years old! Experience walking on the world’s longest canopy walkway, visiting the aborigine village, trekking under rainforest canopy, climbing the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia, caving, fishing, camping, observing wildlife, and many more.

2. Broga Hill

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Conveniently located on the outskirts of Broga, Selangor, is the popular Broga Hill. It happens to be one the most popular hiking and trekking spots, many are willing to travel all the way to the top just to see the breathtaking view from above. Early morning hikes to catch the sunrise is recommended. Unfortunately, Broga Hill was recently sealed off by the Health Ministry, so look out for it when they do decide to reopen.

3. Cameron Highlands

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If you know, you know. There’s nothing Malaysians love more than to escape the searing heat, and Cameron Highlands is the perfect location to do so. It is located high in the hills with rolling tea plantations, strawberry farms, places of worship, museums and more. It’s also home to the highest point in Malaysia – Gunung Brinchang, as well as many beautiful hiking trails. There are also plenty of places to eat, drink, and stay, that can accommodate all kinds of budgets.

4. Port Dickson

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If beaches and resorts are more of your style, then look no further than Port Dickson. Just a short drive from, Kuala Lumpur, Port Dickson is a popular getaway location for Malaysians who enjoy beaches. There’s not a huge range of Malaysia attractions in Port Dickson, but there is the Tanjung Tuan lookout. Time is best spent here at one of the great resorts or the beach. This is the pick for Malaysians if you want some great priced resort time.

5. Melaka

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Now let’s talk business, and by business I mean FOOD. I’m sorry Malaccans, but the food is just too hard to resist! Apart from being home to famous historical landmarks such as A Famosa Fort and Christ Church, the state of Melaka also boasts being the go-to place for delicious Malaysian delicacies such as satay celupchicken rice balls and Nyonya cuisine. Places to visit include the Portugese Settlement, Dutch Heritage Trail, and the Jonker Street Night Market.

That caps off the short list of places you should visit, although many will feel like these are familiar locations, there’s no harm in experiencing them again, plus, what better way to show you love our beautiful country than to support local businesses and travel locally? It’s time to remind ourselves how beautiful our country really is.