After a century of tradition from the Coca-Cola company
, 1985 would certainly be a year that would live in infamy
. Out of nowhere a surprise
hit the world: that of New
The new Coke was created by a change to high-fructose corn syrup - a choice Coca-Cola marketing executives felt was wise after a secret $4 million dollar study had been performed, proving that the new Coke formula was preferred in a 55:45 ratio. After the press release, there was instant backlash from Coke loyalists, and panic stockpiling occurred all over the world.
Despite the negativity in the public, results looked good. In 1985, New Coke took 15% of the soft drink market, and the remaining Old Coke 5.9%, for a 21% total; while Pepsi only took in 18.5%. However, by next year statistics had taken a huge leap: New Coke dropped to 2.3%, Coke Classic leapt to 18.9%, while Pepsi stuck at 18.6%. Soon enough New Coke was dead, and we were left nothing but the small text reading "classic" on our aluminum cans to remind us of a death in the family.
It's interesting to note that New Coke still continued to win blind taste tests, which led Coca-Cola to attempt a relaunch of the product under the name Coke II.
Source: Introduction to Statistical Reasoning, Gary Smith, McGraw Hill, 1998, pp. 186-187.