Old Rumors About New Coke


Did you know that New Coke is used as a punchline every eleven seconds? OK, that's not true. And neither are any of these rumors of the real story behind The (New) Real Thing:

  • New Coke was a plot to switch from sugar-sweetened Coke to much more inexpensive high fructose corn syrup, "a theory that was supposedly given credence by the apparently different taste of Coke Classic when it first hit the market (The U.S. sugar trade association took out a full-page ad lambasting Coke for using HFCS in all bottling of the old formula when it was reintroduced.)"
  • New Coke "provided cover for the final removal of all coca derivatives from the product to placate the Drug Enforcement Administration, which was trying to eradicate the plant worldwide to combat an increase in cocaine trafficking and consumption."
  • New Coke was introduced "to re-assert Coca-Cola's logo trademark, which was due to expire in 1985, 100 years after the logo had first been trademarked."
  • New Coke was a scheme to allow its primary owners "to buy back shares, un-diluting the company's ownership. Once sufficient shares had been purchased or taken off the market, 'Classic' Coke was returned to market to drive the stock price back up."
  • New Coke was developed as a preemptive strike "against Pepsi Supreme, which was to have tasted more like Coke as a way to increase Pepsi's market share. By pulling a similar move themselves, Coke guaranteed that any move by Pepsi would look like mere imitation and thus headed off a challenge to its flagship drink."

This next part is true. New Coke eventually became Coke II. I could have sworn my family had a few Coke II six-packs between 1990 and 1992, and that's right around the time New Coke became the sequel.

Coke Deuce was not discontinued in the U.S. until 2002, and is still available in far corners of the Federated States of Micronesia (specifically Yap).