It’s 30 years since the introduction of “New Coke”.
New Coke was the unofficial name for the reformulation of Coca-Cola introduced in the spring of 1985 to replace the original formula of Coca-Cola. New Coke originally had no separate name of its own, but was simply known as “the new taste of Coca-Cola” until 1992 when it was renamed Coca-Cola II.
Coke had been losing market share to Pepsi, and company officials attributed that loss to Pepsi’s sweeter taste, so a change was made.
But, the public’s reaction to the change was negative, even hostile, and the new cola was a major marketing failure. The subsequent reintroduction less than three months later of Cole’s original formula, re-branded as “Coca-Cola Classic”, resulted in a significant gain in sales. This led to speculation that the introduction of the New Coke formula was just a marketing ploy; however, the company has always claimed it was actually an attempt to replace the original product.
New Coke was only on the market in the United States for a short period, but it remains influential as a cautionary tale against tampering too extensively with a well-established and successful brand. It was discontinued internationally in 2002.