After shaking up one of the world’s most prominent social media platforms and snagging Twitter for $44 billion in a bizarre hostile takeover on Monday, billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced a new target: Coca-Cola.
In yet another eccentric tweet, newfound Twitter owner Musk today said that he planned to buy Coca-Cola next “to put the cocaine back in”.
Soon after, Musk posted a screenshot of a previous tweet where he said “Now I’m going to buy McDonald’s and fix all the ice cream machines,” and jokingly responded to himself with “Listen I can’t do miracles ok”.
Known for his outlandish statements, Musk’s reputation on Twitter precedes him — far before he bought the company. Musk has, in the past, polled Twitter users, asking if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock in order to pay for unrealized capital gains, following which he actually sold off nearly $7 billion in Tesla shares when over 57% of poll participants voted in favour of his suggestion.
In the weeks leading up to his Twitter takeover, when Musk was only set to join the board and nothing else, the Tesla founder tweeted a series of ideas that he believed could improve the platform, with some appearing serious — like the possibility of introducing an edit button — while others seemed wholly bizarre, such as turning Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter.
His most recent Coca-Cola tweet — presumably in jest though not wholly discernible, given his history of acting on his whimsical social media statements — is a nod to the veteran beverage company’s colourful history with cocaine. Coca Cola’s eponymous trademark soft drink is named for its two primary ingredients: coca leaves and kola nuts. While kola nuts are a source of caffeine, coca leaves are the base from which the psychoactive drug cocaine is extracted.
Cocaine-laden coca leaves used to be a primary ingredient in the carbonated soft drink’s formula, back in the nineteenth century, when the substance was still considered medicinal. However, as the drug became stigmatised and Prohibition hit the US, cocaine was removed from Coca-Cola’s secret formula and instead replaced with decocainised coca leaves.