It turns out size does matter, at least when it comes to selling caffeinated soda in the United Arab Emirates. UAE officials will remove 300 ml size cans of Coke and Pepsi from store shelves.
The reason? The soda cans used to be 355 ml, and were recently downsized to 300 ml...but the price of a can of soda has remained unchanged. That violated UAE government price controls, according to Hashim Al Nuaimi, head of consumer protection at the Ministry of Economy. By charging the same amount of money for less product by volume, some consumers might feel duped.
He added: "The two companies requested that they would market their 355 ml size cans with a price printed on them. We were surprised by their move when they reduced the size [of the cans] and took the price tag off the cans."
A 300 ml can of Coke or Pepsi costs 1.50 dirham in the UAE, or about 41 cents in American currency. In the US, a can of Coke at the same size (12 ounces) costs anywhere from 30 cents to $2, depending on whether it is purchased in bulk or from a vending machine, while a 2 liter bottle usually costs between 99 cents and $1.25 at the grocery store.
An Abu Dhabi grocer told the Khaleej Times that there had been rumors about the drinks being pulled from the shelves, but he had yet to see any official notices from the government to that effect.
Back in 2010, Coke made headlines when it wanted to raise the price of its soft drinks in the UAE market, but needed permission from the Ministry of Economy before being allowed to do so.