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Great State: Barack O’Berry wins with Okla. tasters

ARCADIA, Okla. – The field of candidates is huge inside the POPS convenience store and restaurant. Some of them already have some name recognition. Others try to catch your eye with new ideas or a colorful label. “We sell 2,000 bottles a day,” Manager Marty Doepke said.

Doepke thought he’d seen them all until two new candidates put their on names on the shelf.

“We didn’t even have to sample these flavors,” he said. “We knew how popular they would be.”

The Averys pop label came out with a new flavor called Barack O’Berry, a lemon and blue raspberry mixture. At the same time they introduced another flavor called Creme de Mitt. It’s a peaches and cream concoction.¬†Blue vs. Red made for a pop spillover into politics.

“They’re both a lot of fun,” Deopke said. “We watch people come in and comment about it and they always ask which one is selling more.”

Both flavors have their good points. Barack O’Berry is great if you can get past the fact that there’s no such thing as a “blue raspberry.” Cream de Mitt goes down smoother. We each have our own tastes, but the question arises, what role does labeling play? In Pops, Deopke said, “It’s fun for the customers.”

So we did a blind taste test over in the Pops diner. A table for five thought they were here for a birthday lunch but the promise of free pop lured them in. Each had a taste of red and blue without seeing the labels. “I like blue,” one lady sampler said. “I like the red,” the gentleman seated beside her said.

The vote was about 50-50 until we showed them what they were drinking. After that the favorite clearly ran red. “We like the red,” another lady said across the table. “We love the red.”

Can we draw any conclusions here worth noting in one of the reddest states in the U.S.? Marketing clearly makes a difference, so do labels and even color.

The stuff inside might be important as well but among these fizzy candidates, management at Pops handed us a surprise right before the election. The Barack O’Berry flavor had outsold the Creme de Mitt by more than 300 bottles over the past month.

The President himself might never carry Oklahoma in an actual election but he won when it came to pop.