8 changes to the original recipe that drove everyone crazy

Can of New Coke 1985

Just like McDonald’s fries, Coca-Cola is a beloved fast food institution. He has itits own tradition (“they used to use cocaine there???”), it has famous relatives (Diet Coke, Cherry Coke), and in some parts of the country, his name has become a shortcut for all a soda (what’s up, Texas!).

Thus, on April 23, 1985, when Coca-Cola announced that it was going to change its formula – baptized New Coke –Let’s go a carbonated tsunami of criticism. The company even recognizes this blunder on its websitewrapped in a little bow to learn something about business or some other gibberish.

“By 1985, The Coca-Cola Company’s share lead over its main competitor, in its flagship market, with its flagship product, had slowly slipped for 15 consecutive years,” the site explains. “The cola category in general was lethargic. Consumer preference for Coca-Cola was declining, as was consumer awareness. That changed, of course, in the summer of 1985 when consumer outcry over ‘new coke has been replaced by consumer affection for the classic Coca-Cola.

While it can be easy to stick an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” label, New Coke is an example of how competition will always shape a product. Recipe. Sure, Coke is the most popular drink, but companies often think they have to keep innovating to stay where they are. New Coke was a clear rebuke to that idea. No more new, make way for the old!