AAFES, Coke to offer cola for a nickel
Stars and Stripes June 28, 2003
In a promotion reminiscent of World War II, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service will sell several Coca-Cola products June 29 for a nickel.
The offer was announced this week in a full color AAFES advertising insert tucked into Stars and Stripes.
It was June 29, 1943, when Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme Allied commander in Europe, sent a telegram to Coca-Cola officials asking that 10 Coca-Cola bottling plants be allocated for production of the beverage for wartime troops.
At the onset of World War II, Coca-Cola president Robert W. Woodruff set a company policy that everyone in uniform would be able to purchase a bottle for a nickel, no matter where in the world he or she was stationed.
The company covered the cost associated with the offering, according to the AAFES flyer.
Coca-Cola sources said more than 5 billion bottles of the beverage were consumed by GIs during World War II.
It was a savvy marketing scheme, too.
The presence of Coca-Cola did more than lift troop morale.
It also gave people in countries where troops were serving their first taste of “Coke,” paving the way for Coca-Cola’s unprecedented worldwide postwar growth, according to company archives.
Next week’s 5 cent pricing offer at AAFES outlets covers 12-ounce cans, 20-ounce bottles, half-liters and 16-ounce fountain drinks, where available.
Don’t get the idea you can purchase cases at that price, an AAFES spokesman in Okinawa said.
“It says you get a can or a bottle, so it will be limited to one individual serving per person,” said Master Sgt. Howard Smith.
AAFES and Coca-Cola are partnering for the one-day offering to cover associated costs.