There are so many books that we read as we grow, many we forget, some stay with us and few remain etched. You want to read them again and find new and hidden meanings and lessons from them, they inspire you keeping you motivated. One such book for me is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. This book is not just about a factory visit, but it is about dreams turning into reality, about good triumphing over evil and above all, about seeing the whole process coming alive! So… when I got the opportunity to visit the Coca-Cola Happiness Factory with Gurgaon Moms last Saturday, I was super thrilled. This was my moment and I slept lightly for Saturday to come…
Come 18th February, and even Gods had conspired to give us a beautiful warm day! A day when we could indulge in cold beverages without letting the chill trouble us. Gurgaon Moms with their super thrilled kids got together in two buses for the exciting ride to Greater Noida. Yes Greater Noida, you read it right ….long journey you would imagine, but no, not at all….we got into the picnic mode and kept the mood upbeat by playing Atlas, Antakshari and Dumb Charades. Oh! How well we acted and how loudly we sang, we were at the factory in a blink. The entire journey we were kept well hydrated with juices and sparkling beverages from Coca-Cola.
I entered the factory with excitement of a little girl. The waiting area had nostalgia moments with old advertisements of Coca-Cola adorning the lounge walls. The entry to the “Happiness Factory” was via a door rightly called The Vault. We waited with baited breath for the door to open. And when it did open, we were thrusted into a world of happy moments and unforgettable memories.
Our tour guide showed us how the drink is filled into cans first. Tiny Cans all smartly lined up like little soldiers on a belt, getting filled 600 cans per minute(!) and moving down to the packing line, it was a sight to behold. Children marveled at the size of the water storage and purification boilers and clicked pictures to tell their friends all about it. We were explained how water is treated and is ensured to be of the correct quality before mixing it with flavors and sugar etc.
The Maaza packing was so interesting where little test tubes like containers changed into packing bottles. The drink contains 15% real mango pulp! No wonder Maaza gives us all the Mazaa of Aam throughout the year. Everything was fully automated, no human intervention at all! To prevent any contamination we were shown and explained everything from atop a viewing gallery.
The gallery led way to fact files of Coca-Cola and more happiness! We saw interesting history of changing shapes of coke bottles and they were all up in the display. We got to know that the contoured bottle of Coca-Cola is so unique that one can recognize it even with eyes closed!
An interesting wall gave the details of how Coca-Cola drink is made. Though I am sure, we cannot make it at home but thanks to the visit, I know what all goes into making Coca-Cola, the secret is out J! And the best part is that, the color of the drink is just caramel, so no artificial colors are used for making the cola flavor.
We also got to know that Coca-Cola is helping farmers by collaborating with them in cultivation of mangoes. They are helping with setting up sanitary facilities for girls in rural schools along with their other CSR projects. Coca-Cola is also doing their bit for the environment by ensuring minimum water wastage by reusing, recycling and replenishing the water used in the plant.
The Happiness Factory had an exciting section of virtual reality games for kids and coke studio area for music lovers. The interesting fastest finger first quiz based on Coca-Cola, kept us busy and engaged while the kids tried new games. There was a special photo gallery section with a Polar Bear and it was a hit with the crowd!
Before we got insane clicking all possible pictures, it was lunchtime! We had a scrumptious lunch from Coca-Cola side and came back happy with newly launched Coca-Cola products: Aquarius and Fuze Tea.
A day well spent with happiness written on everybody’s face. I, in particular was glad I watched all those little cans and bottles being filled and that everything was untouched by any human hand, I saw the process come alive….my dream is fulfilled. I think I also caught an Oompa Loompa waving at me on my way back! 😉
Thanks Coca-Cola and Gurgaon Moms, the day was like a picnic …. Well spent learning, enjoying and bonding with myths broken!