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Coca-Cola Study Says Mexico to be the Happiest Place on Earth. In Other News, Mexico Is Coca-Cola’s Top Country for Per Capita Consumption Growth

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Coca-Cola Happiness Barometer

Fans of Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, and the rest of the ratings mags should really be into this. Coca-Cola has done it! They have quantified the happiness of countries and, according to the “Happiness Barometer”, the top five are as follows:

  • Mexico – 87.7
  • Philippines – 86.4
  • Argentina – 80
  • South Africa – 80
  • Romania – 79.7

In keeping with the spirit of the ratings magazines, it should come as no surprise that Mexico is Coca-Cola’s top country for growth by per capita consumption [pdf], seeing 56% growth over the last 10 years and 145% growth over last 20 years. Yes, the average Mexican has found happiness by drinking an estimated world-leading 665 8oz. Coca-Cola products a year.

Let’s refer to the study:
The study also found that drinking a Coke really does contribute to making people happy! More than half of the people surveyed (56%) cited the taste of Coca-Cola as something that makes them smile.

“Coca-Cola provides simple moments of pleasure throughout the day. Through this study we wanted to understand what else our consumers reach for in their quest for happiness,” said Cristina Bondolowski, Senior Global Brand Director, Coca-Cola, The Coca-Cola Company.  “We were especially pleased to see that it’s the great taste of Coke that is still putting a smile on faces around the world, as it has done for nearly 125 years.”

Yup. Not even sugar-coating it. (Or high-fructose-corn-syrup-coating it.)

Also from the study:
The global study which covers 16 countries and four continents identifies what happiness means to different nationalities and reveals that, despite the rapid pace of growth in the virtual world, human contact wins hands down when it comes to happiness. People in all 16 countries agree real world contact with family and partners is a greater source of joy (77%) than virtual world alternatives.

Supporting this notion that human, rather than virtual interaction, is a greater source of pleasure; the biggest highlights of the day include:

  • Catching up with loved ones in the evening (39%)
  • Eating with the family (22%)
  • Chatting to friends or colleagues (17%)

Paling in comparison are the modern alternatives such as:

  • Watching TV (14%)
  • Connecting with others online (5%)
  • Receiving the day’s first text message (2%)

“The results of the Coca-Cola Happiness Barometer show that staying connected with friends and family remains an important source of happiness for people around the world, and that this holds true across all continents and nationalities, including here in the U.S.,” said Bill Kelly, Senior Vice President, Coca-Cola Trademark Brands, Coca-Cola North America. “Despite the online social networking phenomenon, nothing beats quality time with loved ones or simple pleasures such as sharing a Coke with our nearest and dearest to bring happiness in our lives.”

The results also show:

  • More than two thirds of people (67%) say they’re satisfied with their lives
  • People (38%) say a night out with friends is a way to cheer them up
  • In the U.S., females are more (23%) likely than males to hug when they need cheering up
  • Females are also more (14%) likely than males to shop when they need some form of happiness
  • Teens (18%) in the U.S. say music is a source of happiness
  • Other teens (22%) say listening to music is one of the happiest moments of the day

To help interpret the results, Coca-Cola invited Dr. Richard Stevens, M.A., Ph. D., a social psychologist and author of Personal Worlds and Understanding the Self, who specializes in happiness and wellbeing, to provide his perspective on the findings.  In his analysis, he noted, “While it is important to have enough money to live, income is a fairly irrelevant contributor to happiness. Without relationships, love, family or friendship, most people will not be content and no amount of money can fill this void.”

Striving for celebrity did not come out as a popular source of happiness in the study. The results showed that, globally, people wouldn’t choose fame and fortune to bring happiness, instead they’d choose:

  • Travelling around the world (37%)
  • Volunteering to help others (26%)
  • Meeting the love of their life (12%)

“Despite our celebrity-driven culture, fame is not likely in itself to be a primary source of happiness,” added Dr. Stevens. “Our real happiness depends much more on our basic sense of self, and connecting with other people, especially through love, care and kindness.”

And let us not forget the valiant efforts of “Todd” to get a magical Coca-Cola machine installed in a school to create a Coca-Cola-fueled prision-esque riot of delicious sodaness.


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