The NonVerbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs & Body Language Cues

Juice Substitute

It's the Real Thing. --Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (1969)

Consumer product. A usually colorful--but sometimes clear--frozen or liquid food product (e.g., a cherry popsicle, orange soda, or strawberry milkshake) sweetened with sugar to resemble the taste of natural fruit juice.

Usage: Historically, squeezed fruit juice has been one of humankind's favorite refreshments. Iced-fruit juices and French sorbets, e.g., date back some 300 years. In the late 1990s, Tropicana orange juice was among the top-ten most popular grocery-store items sold in the U.S. (N.B.: Orange juice contains glucose, fructose, and sucrose; flavor compounds known as terpenes; and the minerals potassium and phosphorus.)

Evolution. The sweetness of a juice substitute is usually increased by adding table sugar (sucrose), a crystalline carbohydrate which suggests the fruity sweetness of fructose, for which it stands (i.e., as a nonverbal sign). Today, an incredible vocabulary of sucrose signals reconnects our species to its fruit-eating, primate past (see FRUIT SUBSTITUTE).

Soda signs. In the modern diet, fresh-fruit drinks have been largely replaced by sweeter beverages which suggest their presence and stand in their stead. In the U.S., e.g., soft drinks outsell fruit juices three-to-one. Carbonated sodas contain high levels of sucrose, as well as of artificial colorings and flavorings. Today, the most recognized brand name on earth belongs to a dark, bubbly juice substitute known as Coca-Cola.

Cola cues. Coke is a complex harmony of cola seeds, vanilla, and spices; and oils of orange, lemon, and lime--blended with evolutionary-unprecedented quantities of caffeine and sucrose. In the 1990s, Coke Classic and Pepsi were, respectively, the 2nd and 3rd most popular grocery-store items in annual sales (behind Marlboro cigarettes).

Drawing of "Showing My Nonverbal Side" by my son Aaron Huffman (copyright 2012 by Aaron M. Huffman)