Sunday, November 27, 2011

History of New Coke

Robert Winship Woodruff, the president of The Coca-Cola Company died in his bed at Emory hospital on March 7, 1985.

Six weeks later at a glamorous news conference, in April 23, 1985, the company announced with much fanfare that after a four year taste test involving 190,000 persons, the formula for Coca-Cola was being changed and that New Coke would take place.

The ‘old Coke’ would be a thing of the past. Coca-Cola’s market share had eroded from 60 percent just after World War II to less than 24 percent in 1983.

At that time Pepsi was gaining market share and Diet Coke innovation had been a hugh success. As the newly appointed CEO of Coca-Cola, Roberto Goizueta was determined to modernize the company.

The reinvented Coca-Cola, a sweeter variant dubbed New Coke, was released with the slogan ‘The Best Just Got Better’.

But soon the ‘Old Coke’ loyalists started speaking out and a previously apathetic public, fueled by media reports, began to voice their unhappiness with the new product.

The situation became untenable and then-CEO Roberto Goizueta ordered a ‘retrograde march’ and New Coke was killed. As an executive Goizueta could recognized a mistake, and he was not afraid to admit it and fox it.

On July 10, less than three months after the introduction of New Coke, company officials announced that the original would return as Coca-Cola classic. For a brief few months Pepsi gained sales leadership, but by early 1986 Coca-Cola Classic was back in top.
History of New Coke

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