131003-myanmar-coke-main-243p_photoblog600By Fiona MacGregor, NBC News contributor

YANGON, Myanmar — Consumers in long-isolated Myanmar are getting their first taste of globalization — and finding it is sweet, fizzy and comes served in a can.

An end to international sanctions after decades of military rule has brought Coca-Cola and Pepsi back to the country, which is also known as Burma, triggering a soft-drink stand-off featuring the giants as well as several local brands.

Although it’s been just five months since Coca-Cola started production in Myanmar after a 60-year absence, the brand has already painted much of Yangon red and white.

Until recently, Myanmar, North Korea and Cuba were the only countries where Coke didn’t have an official presence. Wealthy people in the capital could find illicitly imported Coke in upmarket hotels and restaurants, but generations of ordinary folk had grown up without ever tasting its still-secret recipe.



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