Anyone buying a Cherry Coke in China will soon be seeing the world’s richest Cherry Coke drinker staring right back at them.
Warren Buffett’s face will be found on Cherry Coke bottles in China, the beverage company announced Monday, as it launched the product there for the first time.
“As we thought of the most creative ways to bring the great taste of Cherry Coke to China, we thought who better to celebrate the launch of this special drink than its best-known fan,” Shelly Lin, Coca-Cola China’s Marketing Director for Trademark Coca-Cola, said in a statement.
“We honestly were surprised when Mr. Buffett agreed to the idea. But we’re thrilled, and he’s selling well,” Lin continued.
Buffett joins the very select ranks of characters who have been depicted on Coke products over the years. They include fictional favorites Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus, as well as sports world icons Dale Earnhardt and Cal Ripken, Jr., according to the Coca-Cola Company.
Yahoo News was the first to break the story of Buffett being featured on Chinese Cherry Coke cans. Buffett said Coke execs reached out to him late last year, and he agreed to a six-month placement, for free.
“If there are no problems associated with this,” Buffett said. “I will likely say OK.”
Besides being Cherry Coke’s biggest fan, Buffett has been Coke’s most loyal investor: His Berkshire Hathaway group has been the company’s largest single shareowner, with an investment of 400 million shares. In its most recent annual report, Berkshire disclosed a gain on its Coca-Cola investment of more than $15 billion, not including the ongoing benefits of quarterly dividends, Coke said.
Buffett has also become a rockstar in China in recent years with the growth of the country’s investor class. Omaha.com has reported between 2,000-3,000 investors from China attended Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting last year.
There is no indication that Warren Buffett will ever be featured on Coke products sold in the U.S. But it wouldn’t surprise us a lick if Chinese Cherry Coke cans featuring the Oracle of Omaha start popping up for sale on eBay very soon.