.. Wendy Koskela, a thirty-five year old vice president of an insurance company said, “It’s too sweet. It tastes like Pepsi.” She also stated, “Real Coke had punch. This taste almost like it’s flat”(Demott 60). Many American consumers of Coca-Cola asked if they would have the final say. When Pepsi heard that the Coca-Cola company was changing its secret formula they said that it was a decision that Pepsi tastes better.
Roger Enrico, the president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola wrote a letter to every major newspaper in the U.S. to declare the victory, the letter read like this(Oliver 128): It gives me great pleasure to offer each of you my heartiest congratulations. After eighty-seven years of going at it eyeball to eyeball, the other guy just blinked. Coca-Cola is withdrawing their product from the marketplace, and is reformulating brand Coke to be more like Pepsi..There is no question the long-term market success of Pepsi has forced this move..Maybe they finally realized what most of us have known for years, Pepsi tastes better than Coke. Well, people in trouble tend to do desperate things..and we’ll have to keep our eye on them.
But for now, I say, victory is sweet, and we have earned a celebration. We’re going to declare a holiday on Friday. Enjoy! Best Regards, Roger Enrico President, CEO Pepsi-Cola USA Coca-Cola officials said, “The new formula will boost Coke’s share by 1 percent. That is worth 200 million dollars a year.” Coca-Cola management had to decide: Do nothing or “buy the world a new Coke”(Things go better with Coke 14). They decided to develop the new formula.
Roberto Goizueta, the president of the Coca-Cola Company stated, “The old Coke formula, with its secret flavoring ingredient, called Merchandise 7X, will stay locked in the Trust Company of Georgia bank vault in Atlanta, never to be used again”(Demott et. al 55). This is what many Coke officials said, “This is the most significant soft drink development in the company’s history”(Demott et. al 54). The change back to the old Coke was known as the Second Coming.
Roberto Goizueta said, “Today, we have two messages to deliver to the American consumer, first, to those of you who are drinking Coca-Cola with its great new taste, our thanks..But there is a second group of consumers to whom we want to speak to today and our message to this group is simple: We have heard you”(Oliver 178). On July 10, 1985, eighty-seven days after the new Coke was introduced, the old Coke was brought back in addition to the new one. This was greatly due to dropping market share and consumer protest. The market share fell from a high of 15 percent to a low of 1.4 percent(Miller 38). Roberto Goizueta and Donald Keough took full blame for this failed product launch.
Don Keough, Coca-Cola president, said in response to the comeback, “The truth is we are not dumb and we are not that smart”(New bottle 18). Roberto Goizueta’s response when the change about, “We have heard you”(Moore 8). This was said to be a classic marketing retreat. Coca-Cola executives admitted that they had goofed by taking the old Coke off the market. One old Coke loyalist said, “The company had spoiled the taste of its ninety nine year old soft drink and betrayed a national trust”(Moore 8).
Ike Herbert, a Coke marketer said, “You would have thought we had invented a cure for cancer”(Pendergrast 366). The Coca- Cola company’s eight hundred number received eighteen thousand calls of gratitude. One caller said they felt like a lost friend had returned home. The comeback of old Coke drove stock prices to the highest level in twelve years. This was said to be the only way to regain the lead on the cola wars(Classic comeback of an old champ 12).
In 1979, fifteen hundred employees moved to the new corporate headquarters in Atlanta located on North Avenue. The new corporate headquarters came to be known as “The Tower.” During the time when the research for the new formula was taking place, it was known as “The Bunker”(Oliver 53). The known ingredients in present day Coca-Cola are water. caffeine, phosphoric acid, vanilla, various oils and essences and extracts of the coca leaf and the kola nut. The one in four hundred part of cocaine was removed from Coca-Cola in 1903(Demott 54). Five years after the infamous Coke fiasco, the Coca-Cola company tried to bring back the reformulated Coke. The effort to phase in Coke II into the soda market was quite unsuccessful(Miller 38).
During the Woodruff era, Mr. Woodruff made a promise to the armed forces of the United States to supply Coca-Cola to every serviceperson. He said that costs and location did not matter, he supplied 5 billion bottles to the service. In the mid-1970’s, more than half Coca-Cola sold was outside of the U.S. Coca-Cola products outsell closest competitor by more than two to one.
One in every two colas and one in every three soft drinks is a Coca-Cola product(Facts, Figures, and Features 16). The best known trademark in the world is sold in about one hundred and forty countries to 5.8 billion people in eighty different languages. This is why Coca-Cola is the largest soft drink company in the world. Coca-Cola is worth more than 58 billion dollars on the stock market(Coca-Cola, The Coca-Cola Company 232). For more than 65 years, Coca-Cola has been a sponsor of the Olympics.
The 1996 Summer Olympics will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, the home of Coca-Cola. One great earmark that the Coca-Cola company has is helping the people of Atlanta. They accomplish this through scholarships, hotlines, donations and contributions, etc. Another large accomplishment that the Coca-Cola has, is being the first company to make and use recycled plastic bottles. One way to see all of the achievements of the Coca- Cola company is to visit the World of Coke in Atlanta. It houses a collection of memorabilia, samples of the products, exhibits, and many other exciting items(Facts, Figures, and Features Multiple pages). All of what has been said is the basis of what Coca-Cola was built on.
Without societies help, Coca-Cola could not have become over a 50 billion dollar business. Keep on consuming the world’s favorite soft drink, Coca-Cola.