January 30, 2009

Coke, hold the ‘Classic’

Coke Classic is getting its old name back, and will be known simply as Coke, the Coca-Cola Co. said Friday in Atlanta.

The change will bring what was widely regarded as the New Coke debacle to a close, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. The newspaper reported the company confirmed a story in Beverage Digest that it will drop the word Classic from the product name during the first half of this year.

After the company introduced New Coke in 1985 and discontinued Coke, an intense consumer backlash persuaded executives to bring the original formula back to the U.S. market, but with a new name -- Coke Classic. The company marketed both products for several years, at one point changing the name of New Coke to Coke II and eventually discontinuing the product.

Beverage Digest said company officials had debated for some time whether to drop the word Classic from the Coke Classic product name. The trade magazine cited an unidentified source who called Coke Classic a relic of the past.

How many people are going around saying, 'May I please have a Coke Classic?' the source said

Coke spokesman Scott Williamson told the Journal-Constitution the words Coke Classic will still show up on the bottle, with the phrase Coke Classic original formula, to make it clear the flavor isn't changing.

We've taken very deliberate steps to ensure that people know the Coke Classic they know and love remains the same, Williamson said.