1985: New Coke is it!
But one official "taster" is disappointed with the new formula. She says it's like the can has been left open in the fridge overnight -- flat and sickly sweet.
Changing the Coca-Cola formula is a big move for the conglomerate. The secret formula, kept locked away in an Atlanta bank vault, has remained exactly the same for nearly a century. In 1903, Coca-Cola changed its recipe because the soda had too much of the "real thing" -- cocaine.
Rival employees at Pepsi predict the change to Coke will turn out to be a big mistake. Pepsi even got a day off to celebrate Coke's gaffe.
Roger Enrico of Pepsico explains, "These two products, Pepsi and Coke, have been going at it eyeball-to-eyeball. And in my view the other just blinked."
• The company reintroduced the old product but called it Coca-Cola Classic instead.
• Coca-Cola kept New Coke on the market. A year and a half after New Coke was introduced, the classic version outsold the new formula five to one.
• The new Coke v. old Coke debate amassed so much attention that some speculated introducing New Coke had been a planned marketing campaign.
• At the time, soft drinks rated as the most-consumed beverage in the United States. Coffee and beer came second and third respectively.
• In Canada, coffee was most popular, with milk ranking second, beer third and soft drinks fourth.
• Strict cola drinkers say the best way to imbibe the drink is to buy it by the bottle (never in a can or plastic bottle), refrigerate and pour slowly over ice into a wide-mouthed glass. Too much foam eliminates carbonation, which is bad, according to aficionados.
• In his book Big Secrets, William Poundstone claims Coke's ingredients are as follows: sugar, caramel, caffeine, phosphoric, coca leaf extract (with cocaine removed), cola nut extract, citric acid, sodium citrate, lemon, orange, lime, cassia and nutmeg oils.
Also on April 24:
• 1942: Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery dies at age 68 in Toronto.
• 1951: The 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry wins a U.S. presidential citation for its efforts in repelling Chinese and North Korean forces in the Battle of Kapyong in South Korea.
• 2005: Benedict XVI is installed as Pope after celebrating an inaugural mass.
Broadcast Date: April 24, 1985
Guest(s): Roger Enrico, David Lee
Host: Ann Medina
Last updated: August 30, 2013
Page consulted on September 10, 2014
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