This is a fascinating story and a great example to educate all on how big corporations work today with Coca-cola and their oranges. I worked for a few years ago and let me tell you if you have never that experience you won’t understand how the big machines roll but they do. It’s been going on for years and now it’s even more sophisticated to where corporate America is ahead of government laws, etc. instead of being reactive. If you are so worried about the government having data on you, think twice as corporate America outdoes data by a long shot and that’s who you need to be concerned about. If you follow along with this story, you might see this a little clearer.
I read where the prosecuting attorney in the Frontline special on prosecuting bank fraud is retiring and he made the comment that the DOJ has changed and is not the same place it used to be, well the criminals have changed and so it should not be the same place and better technologists to prosecute such crimes are needed at the top. Watch the 5 videos on the left hand side of this blog and they will bring you up to date with the “real” world of fighting fraud. How much into Technology is Holder one may ask?
The Black Book model includes detailed data about the myriad flavors—more than 600 in all—that make up an orange, and consumer preferences. Those data are matched to a profile detailing acidity, sweetness, and other attributes of each batch of raw juice. The algorithm then tells Coke how to blend batches to replicate a certain taste and consistency, right down to pulp content. Another part of Black Book incorporates external factors such as weather patterns, expected crop yields, and cost pressures. This helps Coke plan so that supplies will be on hand as far ahead as 15 months. “If we have a hurricane or a freeze,” Bippert says, “we can quickly replan the business in 5 or 10 minutes just because we’ve mathematically modeled it.”
Coca-Cola bought Minute Maid in 1960. The juice company had been founded during World War II by pharmaceutical engineer Jack Fox, an expert at concentrating blood serum, to make OJ concentrate for a military contract. Today frozen orange juice from concentrate makes up less than 4 percent of the entire U.S. orange juice market, according to Coke, and is a tiny piece of Minute Maid sales. Instead the beverage giant has thrown its efforts into fresh juice, doubling global volume sales from 2004 to 2011. Of Coke’s 15 brands that each generate at least $1 billion in revenue annually, four are juice-based drinks: Minute Maid globally, Simply Orange in the U.S., Minute Maid Pulpy in Asia, and Del Valle in Latin America.
Cutrale’s experts use satellite imaging to monitor crops in Brazil, so they can order growers to pick their fruit at the optimal time dictated by Black Book. The companies constructed a 1.2-mile underground pipeline from Cutrale’s Orlando-area processing operation to Coke’s packaging plant to transport juice that previously required 70 tanker-truck trips daily.
In peak season—roughly April to June—oranges can go from grove to glass in less than 24 hours. Fiber-optic cables keep computers at Cutrale and Coke’s juice bottling plant in constant contact so juice is piped more efficiently. Inside the bottling plant, “blend technicians” at a traffic control center carry out Black Book instructions prior to bottling. The weekly recipe is tweaked constantly. Natural flavors and fragrances captured during squeezing are added back into the juice to restore flavor lost in processing.