business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Associated Press reports that "Coca-Cola is trying to sell more of its flagship beverage by suggesting the cola can accompany a wide range of meals, rather than just the fast food and pizza with which it’s a mainstay. It’s why a recent TV ad featured a young couple grabbling mini-Cokes while making paella, and why food bloggers were paid to post photos on Instagram of various dishes, paired specifically with glass bottles of Coke that might appeal to the aesthetic of 'foodie' culture. One photo showed a bowl of chicken chili with the soda."

The story goes on: "Although Coke has often been marketed as a good companion for food, the company is trying to make sure it isn’t left behind as American tastes evolve and people move away from traditional sodas. The world’s biggest beverage maker is particularly trying to update the drink’s image among people in their 20s and 30s who may associate soda mainly with places like McDonald’s and Domino’s."

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Staples said yesterday that "it would sell a majority stake in its European operations to private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management L.P., as the office-products company focuses on North America after a failed merger attempt with a rival.

"Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Staples said it is keeping a 15% equity stake in the business and will be represented on its board. Staples’ European business has retail, contract and online businesses in 16 countries generating annual sales of about $1.8 billion."
KC's View: