In his latest article for Civil Eats, Dietitians For Professional Integrity co-founder and strategic director Andy Bellatti looks at Coca-Cola’s “Cap the Tap” program, which teaches crew members or wait staff suggestive selling techniques to convert requests for tap water into orders for revenue-generating beverages.
There are many reasons why this program is problematic. Among them:
A significant problem arises when this sort of campaign is created by a company that talks about its “commitments” to health and enjoys positive publicity from its partnerships with (or support of) health organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Society of Nutrition, and The Obesity Society.
“Cap the Tap” is a perfect example of the doublespeak that Big Food and Big Soda often employ. The carefully calculated veneer of wanting to be “part of the solution” and “offering choices” to consumers is negated by efforts like this one, which basically paints tap water as an enemy to be defeated. Of course, the health-conscious facade has some benefits (one perk of partnering with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is that Coca-Cola can teach continuing education webinars to dietitians).