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Cherry Coke In China Now Served With A Warren Buffett Smile

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, drinks a Cherry Coca-Cola prior to the company's annual meeting in Omaha, Neb., in 2010.

Investor Warren Buffett is the new face of Cherry Coke, at least in China.

The billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is fond of the beverage — photos from shareholder meetings show him sipping on the soda year after year. He's also a major investor: Berkshire Hathaway is the biggest shareholder in Coca-Cola.

And according to Yahoo Finance, Buffett is "something of a rockstar" in China, where his investing acumen has won him admirers.

Out of some combination of preference, influence and fame, Buffett's visage will be gracing new bottles of Cherry Coke in China, where it recently launched.

Yahoo Finance reports that Buffett is not being paid for the privilege and didn't sit for the portrait.

In an article on Coca-Cola's website, Shelly Lin, the director of marketing for Coca-Cola in China, says her team thought of Buffett as Cherry Coke's "best-known fan."

"We honestly were surprised when Mr. Buffett agreed to the idea," Lin said. "But we're thrilled, and he's selling well."

Coca-Cola says the cans featuring Buffett's face are available for "a limited promotional period."

If, for some reason, you're jonesing for a Buffett Coke of your own, Yahoo Finance says you might be in luck: "The special-edition Cherry Coke cans will also be available in America during Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska this coming May."

We should note that Buffett has faced some criticism for his support of Coke. In 2014, he was challenged for not aggressively opposing Coke's lucrative executive compensation package. And last year, a journalist asked about the health consequences of consuming sugary soda.

Buffett pointed to his own fondness for soda as he defended the investment choice. According to CNBC, he said he consumed some 700 calories of Coke a day, and joked he was "about one-quarter Coca-Cola."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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