“…young people are also attracted by the old formula…

Something hilarious from The Curmudgeon:

The Coca Cola Company allows production of "Coca Cola Classic"
By Coca Cola News Service

ATLANTA (CNS) — In a long-awaited overture to disaffected soda traditionalists, the president of the Coca Cola Company allowed limited production of "Coca Cola Classic," the original formula soft drink which was recently replaced by New Coke.

The president said the Classic formula should be made available in to consumers who desire it. He said that while New Coke, introduced a few months ago, will remain the flagship product of the brand, Classic Coke should be considered "the extraordinary form of the Coca Cola product."

This reintroduction implies no failure of the New Coke production and marketing plan, but simply "two variations on the one flagship Coca Cola product." The president’s directive came July 7 in a four-page letter to bottlers titled "Introducing Coca Cola Classic." The old formula will begin appearing in bottles and cans–not in fountains–Sept. 14. An accompanying personal letter from the president dismissed fears that the decisions would foment divisions among Coke drinkers or be seen as a retreat from the New Coke campaign.

The president said New Coke would certainly remain the company’s predominant product. Drinking Coca Cola Classic presupposes a certain degree of sophistication and traditional preferences and "neither of these is found very often," he said. But the president expressed sympathy with consumers who are attached to the old Coke formula and uncomfortable with New Coke.

In the period since the introduction of New Coke, he said, excessive, Pepsi-like sweetness often led to "unfinished bottles and unsatisfactory mixes with rum and bourbon which were hard to bear.""I am speaking from experience, since I, too, lived through that period with all its hopes and confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary changes in the formula caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the old formula," he said.

The president noted that many older consumers have a long connection with the Classic formula. But in recent years, he said, it has been clearly demonstrated that young people are also attracted by the old formula.

By widening its availability, the president said, he hoped to make the new and old Coca Cola formulas "mutually enriching."

The old formula has been hoarded and bottled by small, out-of-the-way bottlers since shortly after the introduction of the new formula, but customers had to make special trips–often hundreds of miles and beg bottlers for it, who did not always consent.

…[T]he new policy did not explicitly state that those buying Coca Cola Classic were also expected to buy New Coke. The company said that crossover purchasers would be presumed, however.

He emphasized that although the new formula was designed to replace the old formula, the old formula was "never formally abandoned." Its restoration as an extraordinary product thus does not undermine the company’s decisions with respect to New Coke, he said.

"There is no contradiction between the two formulas. In the history of our company there is growth and progress, but no rupture," he said."What earlier generations held as a good product remains such, and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful," he said.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to “…young people are also attracted by the old formula…

  1. mike says:

    In the same vein – we can’t really consider Dr Pepper, Sprite, Orange Crush, etc. to be TRUE COLAS. Tho there is hope for Royal Crown & Tab (but only if they ditch the girly bottle).

    m

  2. Iosephus says:

    This is a stitch

  3. Paul Stokell says:

    Not to mention the REAL cane sugar, as opposed to the syrupy corn sweetener in the newer product.

  4. Romulus says:

    New Coke was quietly phased out in 2002.

  5. Wil says:

    “…excessive, Pepsi-like sweetness often led to “unfinished bottles and unsatisfactory mixes with rum and bourbon which were hard to bear.”

    Brilliant. Haha!

  6. Arieh says:

    Too funny, I just sprayed Coca Cola Classic all over my computer screen!!

  7. Joe Marier says:

    So, the CEO, completely against the wishes of its affiliated bottlers, has acceded
    to a disaffected minority of soda drinkers yet again. Are we going to go back
    to the days of “secret formulas”? Soda jerks in garish overdecorated drugstores
    with their backs to the customer? Are we going to tell Pepsi that they’re not
    technically a “cola” again?

    Well, at least we’re not like our kids who drink Red Bull, though. Those people
    are nuts.

  8. Joe Marier says:

    If Coca Cola is Traditionalism, does that make Red Bull non-denominational Christianity?

    Does that make Full Throttle LifeTeen?

  9. Legisperitus says:

    But will bottlers be prohibited from refusing to distribute New Coke as a matter of economic principle?

  10. Xavier says:

    In the parable of the clever steward, the Lord Jesus asks his followers to consider that “the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.” (Luke 16:8 RSV)

    It took Coca-Cola only three months to apologize and bring back the venerable Classic Coke. President Donald Keough admitted: “The simple fact is that all the time and money and skill poured into consumer research on the new Coca-Cola could not measure or reveal the deep and abiding emotional attachment to original Coca-Cola felt by so many people .. . . It is a wonderful American mystery, a lovely American enigma, and you cannot measure it any more than you can measure love, pride, or patriotism.”

  11. Joe Marier says:

    Another thing: if you read the book BLINK, M. Gladwell makes the point that New Coke was based on the idea that Coke needed to win sip tests against Pepsi, despite the fact that it was still beating Pepsi in sales. See, Pepsi is, to paraphrase Mitch Hedberg, all exciting at first, but in the end you’re sick of it, hence the winning of the sip tests, but lower sales.

  12. But the Nova Coca is a perfectly canonical expression of the cola. We ought not to forget that it was formulated after serious deliberation.

    Wait a minute….

  13. GCC Catholic says:

    But what if we want to mix a little bit of the New Coke into the Coca Cola Classic? Are we allowed to do that?

    (Sorry, I just had to…)

  14. Le Renard says:

    Just great.

    The Sacred Liturgies have been reduced to what else?

    A mundane soft drink.

  15. Greg Smisek says:

    Celebrating the return of a classic, with Coca-Cola Classic, rum, and a twist of lime — a Missa Libre, anyone?

  16. Bede says:

    Le Renard:

    A mundane soft drink.

    Only by parable.

    Even the Kingdom of Heaven was reduced in parable to a mustard seed.

  17. Father Anonymous says:

    That’s great but I have to call the author of this out on PLAGERISM! (Or so I would presume). I heard the late Michael Davies (Requiescat in Pace) give this humorous analogy about 6 years ago or so at a conference in NJ – How coke switched to “New Coke” (“Novus Ordo Coke”) and then because it was a disaster reinstated “Coca Cola Classic”.

    But whoever thought up or uses this metaphor for the liturgical situaiton gets props from me! It is a thought provoking analogy that makes you smile while you ponder the parallels.

  18. Somerset '76 says:

    It goes back further than that. I became a traditionalist in the very summer (1985) the Coke switcheroo took place, and my mentor, Fr. Ringrose of the independent pro-SSPX chapel near Washington, DC, made this exact analogy. It was absolutely spot-dead-on, down to the detail that the “C” institution (Coke, the Catholic Church) was the original one; the “P” institution (Pepsi, Protestantism) was an ersatz imitation, and the “C”s decided to sell out to be more like the “P”s, never minding the protests. You folks can work it all out. Really, it was an absolutely perfect analogy.

    A buddy of mine then pointed out, after “Classic” was introduced, that as one of the commenters has mentioned, it wasn’t exactly the same formula as before. I had a 1984 Olympic commemorative can in my possession at the time and verified: the old Coke did indeed use cane sugar, and from the getgo, the 1985 “Classic” version uses high fructose corn syrup, a cheaper product. I have since wondered if, indeed, the introduction of New Coke was, in fact, an effort to purge people’s taste memories of the old Coke long enough to transition to the cheaper sweetener.

  19. Somerset '76 says:

    It goes back further than that. I became a traditionalist in the very summer (1985) the Coke switcheroo took place, and my mentor, Fr. Ringrose of the independent pro-SSPX chapel near Washington, DC, made this exact analogy. It was absolutely spot-dead-on, down to the detail that the “C” institution (Coke, the Catholic Church) was the original one; the “P” institution (Pepsi, Protestantism) was an ersatz imitation, and the “C”s decided to sell out to be more like the “P”s, never minding the protests. You folks can work it all out. Really, it was an absolutely perfect analogy.

    A buddy of mine then pointed out, after “Classic” was introduced, that as one of the commenters has mentioned, it wasn’t exactly the same formula as before. I had a 1984 Olympic commemorative can in my possession at the time and verified: the old Coke did indeed use cane sugar, and from the getgo, the 1985 “Classic” version uses high fructose corn syrup, a cheaper product. I have since wondered if, indeed, the introduction of New Coke was, in fact, an effort to purge people’s taste memories of the old Coke long enough to transition to the cheaper sweetener.

    I would not be at all surprised if Mr. Davies got this analogy from Fr. Ringrose. Not one bit.

  20. Jordan Potter says:

    Where this parable breaks down is that New Coke never caught on, was never popular, and was abandoned very quickly. The Pauline Missal, however, is now the ordinary form of the Roman Rite.

    There also seems to be in this parable a casual assumption that reforrming the liturgy is the same as, or tantamount to, defecting from the Catholic faith.

    (By the way, I’m not a great fan of Coke or Pepsi, so I’ll drink them if I have to. Pepsi to me tastes like battery acid, and Coke tastes like battery acid with a tiny pinch of sugar added.)

  21. Curmudgeon says:

    Very insightful comments. While I don’t presume to be much of an original thinker (or for that matter, a much of a thinker at all), my arrival at the New Coke analogy was independed of Mr. Davies’ (+RIP). It’s a pretty facile analogy that not doubt hundreds of others have drawn–it’s just that they all had something better to do than blog about it over the last few days.

    Keep in mind that 3 months before the reintroduction of a 60 year-old product is comparable to 37 years before reintroduction of what is, in essence, a 1000 year-old litugical rite (er, excse my lapse of Romanitas….”form” of rite). And if New Coke was phased out entirely by 2002, we have…what?…250 years until the Pauline Missal is formally abandoned. 250 years? I don’t see what the moderns are worried about.

  22. “I’d love to teach the world to sing in perfect polyphony.”

  23. James says:

    What is all this talk on Coke, big deal? The MP was just published a few days ago, the good guys won, and the liberals can eat dirt. I didnt like some of what was said, in fact I hope it want some sort of trap. Im going to hold back getting involved with any TLM group until I see some real progress.

    Get back to the real news.

  24. Dan says:

    I remember when I was a kid and they announced the replacement of Coke with New Coke. We had to search high and low for a beverage center that still had stocks of the Real Thing, until we finally found a place upstate near my grandfather’s.
    You can’t beat the Real Thing!

  25. Alan Stout says:

    That is an absolutely perfect analogy…except that some people who were raised with New Coke, or have never even tried Coke in their lives, even though they say they are “Coke People,” are angry that the old coke may in fact bring back using actual cocaine in the coca-cola mixture. Coke of course assures us that these claims are unfounded and there is no reason to worry.

    Absolutely one of the best marketing ploys in the history of business (for coke that is). Lets hope it works for our Church.

  26. I don’t believe that the so-called “Coke Classic” is the authentic traditional form. Its downfall can be traced way before the introduction of New Coke, to the decision to remove cocaine from the original formula. This conspiracy is much deeper than most people imagine.

  27. Xavier says:

    “Keep in mind that 3 months before the reintroduction of a 60 year-old product is comparable to 37 years before reintroduction of what is, in essence, a 1000 year-old litugical rite.”

    I figured it based on a 2000 year old rite and it still took 4 times longer for the Classic Rite to return than the classic beverage. Then again, Coca Cola had to worry about going out of business, while the Church has a Father with infinitely deep pockets. ;-)

  28. Nathan says:

    +JMJ

    Fr. Gonzales, God bless you! That was really funny.

    In Christ,

  29. Xavier says:

    “I don’t believe that the so-called “Coke Classic” is the authentic traditional form.”

    But the changes in Coke over the years were organic. New Coke was a whole new formula.

  30. Somerset ’76:

    I don’t like conspiracy theorists, but I am convinced that the New Coke release. which the company made in spite of people’s preference for Coke over Pepsi, was a clever marketing ploy. I really believe that New Coke was a bogus product, which the company never really intended to replace the old Coke. Taking the old Coke off the market for three months gave people a chance to forget what the old Coke tasted like. Then when the “Classic” (Not!) version was introduced, people were mostly uncritically grateful to have their old favorite back.

    Gains for Coca Cola:

    + Millions of dollars of free publicity

    + A chance to save the company mucho dinero in the long run by substituting high fructose corn syrup for cane sugar in the Coke formula. Classic Coke is not classic. The previous formula does not taste the same. In my neighborhood, I can buy Coke from Mexico made with cane sugar (for some reason Mexico was able to block the switch to fructose in the Coke formulation) and the sugar-version of Coke tasts very different.

    I admit this is a digression from the good (if not perfect) correlation between the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass and the return to allowing the Tridentine Mass as an extraordinary rite. I enjoyed the analogy a lot.

  31. Curmudgeon says:

    Actually, Xavier, I was dating (very roughly) from the Gregorian era, although of course I admit that even what was going on at that point was an organic development from what had cgone before, and not “a fabrication” or a “banal, artificial product.”

  32. michigancatholic says:

    Roseanne,

    I don’t doubt what you say about Coke classic. Big companies can run a logic with that kind of planning and execution, and leave people wondering with only a rumor to show for it.

    I just doubt that the Church could execute that over 40 years. If the Church had that kind of corporate moxie, they’d have put Cdl Mahoney in a strait jacket (where he belongs) a long time ago. And that’s just one (homely) example.