On April 23, 1985, the Coca-Cola Company debuted New Coke, replacing its flagship and market-leading soda, then called Coke.
Blind taste tests, a market research strategy employed by chief rival Pepsi, indicated that consumers overwhelmingly preferred the sweeter New Coke. So confident were Coke executives in the new flavor, they discontinued production of Coke the same week that New Coke was release. They evaluated releasing New Coke as a brand extension to Coke, but with bottlers were already pushing back after the launch of Cherry Coke, they preferred to shut down Coke production. New Coke’s introduction was an epic mis-read of consumer sentiment, and the original flavor was brought back to store shelves quickly, with production restarting just 79 days after New Coke’s launch.
This was not just a footnote in the summer of 1985. It was a sonic boom within the Cola Wars, evidenced by ABC News’ Peter Jennings interrupting daytime soap “General Hospital” with the special report. Read More