Symbols of capitalism


Apparues au XIXe siècle aux États-Unis, la boîte de soupe à la tomate Campbell’s et le flacon rouge Heinz — dont il se vend annuellement 650 millions d’unités à travers le monde — rivalisent avec la bouteille de Coca-Cola pour le titre de symbole du capitalisme.

Roughly translated, Campbell soup cans and Heinz red bottles are quite as solid symbols of capitalism as the Coca Cola bottle. The article explains at length what’s at stake with tomato, and all of a sudden I realised that indeed, every day of the year, in almost every fridge, there is a product using tomato, either in its original form or as an ever-present ingredient for sauces and soups.

I find it fascinating that this product has become so ubiquitous, considering it’s probably coming from South America and was brought back to Europe by Spanish conquistadores, and that eventually we don’t even notice it any more.

I know the constant hype that Coca Cola does for its product. It’s a well-known marketing technique, it comes from the (time-proven) idea that when someone asks you what you want to drink, you’re likely to give the first name that comes to mind. Being exposed to the name “Coca Cola” quite a lot, you’re most likely to have it pop up out of the blue.

Without being able to say why, I like the irony that comes from capitalism: surreptitiously, the anonymous tomato is more present than Coca Cola in our fridges.


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