One of the highlights of any visit to the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta is the “Taste It” sampling area where guests can try more than 60 different products produced around the world by The Coca-Cola Company. Most are drinks that visitors have never seen before, like Inca Cola from Peru, Stoney Ginger Beer from South Africa, or Mezzo Mix from Germany, to name just a few. One of the most interesting drinks offered is called Beverly and originated in Italy. Beverly is popular for reasons you might not expect…
Before I get into some of the attributes of Beverly, let me give you some background. The product was introduced in Italy in 1969 as a non-alcoholic aperitif. Aperitifs are drinks that are consumed before meals and are believed to aid digestion. The 1971 ads for Beverly feature the slogan, “Cold as Helsinki, sparkling as Rio, dry as El Paso.” By 1978, the brand was popular enough to be featured in a company history of the Italian market and was available in both the “classic” and “white” versions. The brand continued to be sold in Italy battling against the bigger competitors, like Campari and San Pellegrino which also had products in that category. In 1991, Beverly “White” was chosen as one of the 16 products from around the world to be made available in the tasting area of the original World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.
Diego Romano, one of my marketing colleagues in Italy gave me a very personal description of the role that drinks like Beverly play in the Italian culture. Diego said, “In Italy, Beverly is served in a typical glass for an aperitif, with ice and a piece of orange on top of the glass. It would be served with a little portion of chips, "Italian" olives, nuts and cheese!! I suggest you to try it exactly 30 minutes before lunch or dinner with your friends, just to live the Italian experience!”
Ted Ryan samples Beverly at the World of Coca-Cola
With ongoing product consolidation in the Italian market, Beverly was discontinued in 2009. However, it is still available at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. While Diego’s account of the drink makes it sound wonderful, most Americans are not accustomed to the bitter taste of an aperitif. Beverly is one of the most popular drinks at the World of Coca-Cola because of the reactions of the guests who try this bitter drink for the first time.
If you visit the World of Coke in Atlanta, make sure to give it a try. I personally like the taste and find that mixing a little of the Kinley Lemon makes a nice tasting drink. If I do go to Italy, I will also follow Diego’s advice and live like an Italian with an aperitif 30 minutes before my meal.
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