Earlier this week, a Utah grocery chain pulled three soda brands from its shelves after a customer, Kate Boyle, tweeted that she was “shocked and horrified” by the name of one of the brands: “Not See Kola.” (Boyle’s account is now private.)
Nazi cola? Oh no, demurs Not See Kola’s distributor: It’s pronounced note-zee, which means “lake distress” in German. Riiiight.
The other brands are “Orthodox Jooce” (made from Concord grape juice), and “Leninade,” which I wrote about in a 2011 post about brands that appropriate the imagery and language of 20th-century Communism. All three brands are distributed by Real Soda in Real Bottles, headquartered in Gardena, California.
It was the second time in two months that a Utah customer had criticized the Not See Kola name on social media. In April, Macy Moon wrote on Facebook that she was “very disappointed to see something so tasteless come from a Utah company.” The company’s response to Moon could hardly be construed as an apology. “We respect and understand that everyone has differing senses of humor,” the company wrote. “Our goal is to provide a wide variety of sodas and flavors that everyone can enjoy.”
In other words: Get over yourself! It’s just a joke!