Coca Cola or Water:

USA, Mexico and Brazil Made Their Choice

In July 2021, We surveyed 1000 people aged 25-54 from Mexico, Brazil and the USA, to find out what they thought about Ronaldo’s UEFA Euro 2020 stunt, and how it influenced their Coke drinking habits (or if it has influenced them at all).

The survey led to a heated discussion on social media, with respondents weighing in both on their personal preferences and the situation in their countries.

As the reaction to the survey has shown, Ronaldo’s stunt reopened an (unfortunately) evergreen topic: scarcity of fresh, drinking water around the world. Before we reveal the results of our survey, let us look into why we chose to survey residents of Mexico, Brazil and the USA.

As you can see in the infographic below, Mexico, the USA and Brazil are the top 3 soda drinkers. What’s more, it’s estimated that residents of Chiapas, a Mexican federal entity, drink 2.2 liters of Coke every single day.

The worrying statistics can be confirmed by comments that our survey inspired: commenters from Mexico pointed out there are communities in Mexico that don’t have clean drinking water, while nearby stores readily offer Coca Cola. Others indicated that drinking tap water is unsafe in most parts of Brazil.

Survey Results

We aimed to identify the favorite Coca Cola product among the respondents, and discovered (or rather, confirmed) that Coke is the favorite Coca Cola drink of 54% of respondents, with Coke Zero following with a little over 20%.
30% of the people said they drink Coca Cola products only once a week, closely followed by almost 28% who claimed they never drink Coca Cola products.
When asked why they drink Coca Cola, a staggering majority (95%) responded it was because they like the taste. Only 1.63% said they drink Coca Cola because of its brand image.
The respondents were explicitly asked how likely they are to stop drinking Coke because of the Ronaldo incident. 43.44% responded with ‘highly unlikely’, with 10% responding ‘very likely’. 33% respondents stated they were completely unaffected by Ronaldo’s action.
Interestingly enough, when asked if Coca Cola deserves its bad reputation, 53.39% responded with a ‘no’, while 46.61% responded affirmatively.
The effects of Ronaldo’s actions can maybe best be summed up by the following comment our survey obtained on social media:
While it seemed the price of Coke had very little to do with why the respondents drank it (only 3.25% said they drink Coke because of its price), we can’t help but think further research is necessary into the cost of bottled water vs. soda.
Moving forward, we could reflect on the following: while there are many people around the world without access to drinking water, there are others who willfully ignore the perceived detrimental effects of carbonated soft drinks like Coke. While we may advise moderation to the latter, what are we to do about the former?


The survey was conducted anonymously via social media, for two weeks in July 2021. 1000 responses were collected, with roughly 50% of the respondents from the USA, and 25% from Mexico and Brazil. Mexico, Brazil and the USA were chosen as target geo-locations due to the fact that they were reported by as the top 3 soda drinkers in the world (2019 report).