10. New Coke flavour
When big-budget products flop, they often flop big time, and this has never been truer than for Coca Cola when they tried to reinvent the wheel. In 1985, the brand decided to get the jump on their rivals Pepsi, with the release of New Coke, a drink that had been created to taste sweeter than the original – much like Pepsi does.
The launch was not a success, as fans of Coke were so unhappy, they demanded Coke bring back their original formula. Just 79 days after the launch of New Coke, and after $34 million of losses, executives from Coca Cola announced a return to the old formula, which would be called Coca Cola Classic until 2009. New Coke must have had some fans though, as it was manufactured and sold under the name Coke until 1992, when it was rebranded to Coke II, before being discontinued in 2002.
The story is perhaps a cautionary tale that proves the old adage “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” although New Coke did make a limited 500,000 can run comeback in 2019, and even made an appearance in the Netflix hit show, Stranger Things. This time around, the drink received a friendlier reception, with customers rushing to order cans online. Perhaps that’s not too surprising though, since today Coca Cola’s biggest market share comes from the company’s non-classic products, like Cherry or Diet Coke.