China, Cherry Coke, and the Oracle of Omaha

Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola's largest single shareholder had an investment worth about $17 billion.

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) receives permission from Warren Buffett to put his picture on Cherry Coke cans in China.

The Atlanta company says it chose to feature a drawing of the billionaire investor on cans for the launch of Cherry Coke in the country. Buffet was also a genuine consumer, and had said in 2015 that he drank at least five cans a day - regular Coke at the office, and Cherry Coke at home.

Anyone buying a Cherry Coke in China will soon be seeing the world's richest Cherry Coke drinker staring right back at them. For a brand that usually carries images of athletes or pop stars, an octogenarian billionaire may seem an odd choice.

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Chinese consumers have also grown tired of pop stars and celebrities willing to lend their name and image to any product, according to Chow.

Cherry Coca-Cola was first launched in the U.S. in 1985, it was only just introduced to the Chinese mainland on the 10 March. "But we're thrilled, and he's selling well", Lin continued.

While Buffett is admired and thought of as a folksy straight talker in the USA where Coke is based, employing an 86-year-old billionaire to sell sodas in the US would be a tough sell for even the most savvy Madison Avenue marketing firm, even with Buffett's voracious appetite for Cokes.

Last year, Berkshire webcast its meeting for the first time, and provided simultaneous translation only in Mandarin.

  • Ronnie Bowen