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Matt Rosenberg

Coca-Cola in Every Country But Three? No!

By June 15, 2012

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North Korea: No Coke for you!It was reported yesterday that Coca-Cola plans to bring its product to Myanmar, just as soon as the United States government gives permission for the company to do so. Relations between Myanmar and the international community have been improving as of late and American investment in Myanmar is likely to be allowed soon.

The most interesting claim of the article from a geographic standpoint was that, in addition to Myanmar, there are only two other countries where Coca-Cola is not served - North Korea and Cuba. Coca-Cola's website claims that Coca-Cola is available in "over 200 countries" but there are actually only 196 independent countries on the planet. Looking at the Coca-Cola list shows that numerous actual countries are missing (such as East Timor, Kosovo, Vatican City, San Marino, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, etc.; you get the picture). Therefore, the assertion that Coca-Cola is only not present in Myanmar, Cuba, and North Korea is a completely false. According to the article Reuters is the source for this "fact."

Additionally, in looking at the Coca-Cola website list, it is obvious that more than a dozen listed "countries" are not countries at all (such as French Guiana, New Caledonia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, etc.). Thus while Coca-Cola is widely distributed, there quite a few independent countries where the beverage is not available. Nonetheless, Coca-Cola likely remains the most widely distributed American product on the planet, even exceeding McDonald's and Subway restaurants. (Image: Flag of North Korea, where Coke is definitely unavailable.)


June 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm
(1) Steve says:

They list Ivory Coast instead of Cote d’Ivoire and in their list they say ‘locations” not “countries’”. However, your general conclusion is correct.

June 16, 2012 at 8:40 am
(2) Surinamegirl says:

Small correction, French Guyana is a country right next to my birthplace Suriname.

June 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm
(3) Matt Rosenberg says:

Steve – thanks, I made the correction! Surinamegirl – unfortunately French Guiana is not an independent country, it is part of France. -Matt

June 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm
(4) Thomas Monks says:

Thanks Matt, using this for my geography homework, we have to write about an article. I knew i’d find something good on your site.

July 19, 2012 at 1:43 am
(5) Don Hirschberg says:

As I sometimes make comments on this blog I often check for recent comments lest I miss comments correcting my comments. I see four comments for “Coca-Cola in Every Country But Three. No.”

Gee, most article elicit no comments. Many articles are not trivial. But this article is. Imagine, getting the number of countries in which Coca Cola is served slightly wrong! Counting Puerto Rico as a country rather than a Commonwealth is scandalous. On the other hand calling North Korea North Korea rather than by its proper name is quite acceptable. I guess. (I don’t really care, that’s what I call it too.)

August 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm
(6) Mare says:

Kosovo is not a country…

September 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm
(7) Labi says:

@ Mare. No you’re wrong. Kosova is an old country. They are a region in southeastern Europe. They were on war for a long time so Kosova now it’s independent since September 2008. For more information check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo

October 18, 2012 at 9:39 am
(8) chris says:

Why should we call the Ivory Coast by its Frendch name “Cote d’Ivoire” when speaking English? They call the United States “Les Etats Unis” when speaking French. What do you call Germany?

November 13, 2012 at 10:50 am
(9) Yasir says:

Ya,,, one more thing to correct,, coke is sold in Sudan n south Sudan,,,,

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