Pepsi had begun to outsell Coke in supermarkets; Coke maintained its edge only through soda vending machines and fountain sales in fast food restaurants, concessions, and sports venues where Coca-Cola had purchased "pouring rights". Growth in the full-calorie segment would have to come from younger drinkers, who at that time favored Pepsi by even more overwhelming margins than the market as a whole. This trend further eroded Coca-Cola's market share.
Pepsi had begun to outsell Coke in supermarkets; Coke maintained its edge only through soda vending machines and fountain sales in fast food restaurants, concessions, and sports venues where Coca-Cola had purchased "pouring rights". Growth in the full-calorie segment would have to come from younger drinkers, who at that time favored Pepsi by even more overwhelming margins than the market as a whole.
Asked if they would buy and drink the product if it were Coca-Cola, most testers said they would, although it would take some getting used to.
Their presence in focus groups tended to negatively skew results as they exerted indirect peer pressure on other participants. But the focus groups had provided a clue as to how the change would play out in a public context, a data point the company downplayed but which proved important later.
He believed it would be "New Coke or no Coke", : He insisted that the containers carry the "New! Production of the original formulation ended later that week.
In many areas, New Coke was initially introduced in "old" Coke packaging; bottlers used up remaining cans, cartons and labels before new packaging was widely available.
Old cans containing New Coke were identified by their gold colored tops, while glass and plastic bottles had red caps instead of silver and white, respectively. Reporters had already been fed questions by Pepsi,  which was worried that New Coke would erase its gains.
As far back asCoca-Cola sought kosher certification from an Atlanta rabbi and made two changes to the formula so the drink could be considered kosher as well as halal and vegetarian. This is a success. Sales figures from those cities, and other areas where it had been introduced, showed a reaction that went as the market research had predicted.
Surveys indicated that a majority liked the new flavoring. Many of these drinkers were Southerners, some of whom considered Coca-Cola a fundamental part of their regional identity. The company received over 40, calls and letters, : Another letter asked for his autograph, as the signature of "one of the dumbest executives in American business history" would likely become valuable in the future.
Comedians and talk show hosts, including Johnny Carson and David Lettermanmade regular jokes mocking the switch. Ads for New Coke were booed heavily when they appeared on the scoreboard at the Houston Astrodome. His organization eventually received over 60, phone calls. He also filed a class action lawsuit against the company which was quickly dismissed by a judge who said he preferred the taste of Pepsi while nevertheless expressing interest in securing The Coca-Cola Company as a client of his new firm should it reintroduce the old formula.
Executives met with international Coke bottlers in Monaco; to their surprise, the bottlers were not interested in selling New Coke.
Goizueta stated that Coca-Cola employees who liked New Coke felt unable to speak up due to peer pressure, as had happened in the focus groups. Executives feared social peer pressure was now affecting their bottom line. Some consumers even began trying to obtain "old" Coke from overseas, where the new formula had not yet been introduced, as domestic stocks of the old drink were exhausted.
Its bottlers, and not just the ones still suing the company over syrup pricing policies, were expressing concern.
The 20 bottlers still suing Coca-Cola made much of the change in their legal arguments. Bottlers, particularly in the South, were also tired of facing personal opprobrium over the change. Many reported that some acquaintances and even friends and relatives had ostracized them, or had expressed displeasure in other emotionally hurtful ways.
On June 23, several of the bottlers took these complaints to Coca-Cola executives in a private meeting. Finally the Coca-Cola board had had enough and decided to bring back the old Coke. Company president Donald Keough revealed years later, in the documentary The People vs. On the floor of the U.
SenateDavid Pryor called the reintroduction "a meaningful moment in U. Some who tasted the reintroduced formula were not convinced that the first batches really were the same formula that had supposedly been retired that spring.
While that has become conventional wisdom in the ensuing years, some analyses have suggested otherwise.
Yes, it infuriated the public, cost us a ton of money and lasted for only 77 days before we reintroduced Coca-Cola Classic.© BlackBerry Limited.
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