Top 10 Failed Coke Products
VOICE OVER: Joshua Karpati
WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
Script written by Caitlin Johnson
Even one of the biggest companies in the world has made its fair share of mistakes. From OK Soda, to Vault, to Green Tea Coke, these fails will go down in history as some of the silliest (and least tasty) in Coca-Cola history. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Failed Coke Products.
Special thanks to our user boxtroll for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Failed+Coke+Products.
Script written by Caitlin Johnson
Top 10 Failed Coke Products
Even one of the biggest companies in the world has made its fair share of mistakes. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Failed Coke Products.
For this list, we’re only looking at products made by Coca-Cola which were unpopular, unremarkable, or discontinued quickly.
#10: OK Soda
1993 - 1995
In the 1990s, Gen Xers were embracing anti-establishment ideas, and Coca-Cola decided they wanted in. So, in 1993, they launched OK Soda, with a haunting advertising campaign, featuring the slogan “Everything is going to be OK,” with artwork by noted alternative cartoonists Daniel Clowes and Charles Burns. It’s not surprising to hear that a giant corporation trying to make an anti-corporate soft drink completely failed; and OK Soda was, well, canned by Coke, a mere seven months after its launch.
2005 - 2011
By 2005, Coca-Cola grew tired of not having a main competitor for Pepsi’s long-established favourite soda, Mountain Dew. So that summer they released Vault, a bright-green citrus-flavored drink. Eventually the original Vault was joined by other variants, including Vault Zero and the charmingly-titled Vault Red Blitz. They lasted until the end of 201. Oddly enough, Vault wasn’t particularly unpopular and there are many online campaigns to try and persuade Coke to bring it back into production.
#8: Green Tea Coke
When food and beverage companies want to launch experimental flavors, they often do so in Japan, and Coca-Cola is no exception. In 2009, it was announced that a brand-new flavor was going to be released exclusively in that country. Soon competing with the limited-run Pepsi Shiso, it was marketed mostly towards health-conscious young women, boasting antioxidants and the refreshing aftertaste of, yes, green tea,. But things didn’t go to plan and amid taste complaints, GTC was shelved for good and never made it to the global marketplace.
#7: Sprite Remix
2003 - 2005
This drink was Coca-Cola’s way of trying to break into the hip hop and DJ subcultures in the 2000s: hence the name “Remix.” This had all the ingredients of regular Sprite and then some, coming in three distinct varieties: Tropical, Berryclear, and something called Aruba Jam. By 2005, less than two years since its introduction, the product line was discontinued. But a decade later it seems to have gotten a second chance in some capacity, as people started noticing Sprite Tropical Remix – now called Sprite Tropical Mix – showing up in some stores.
#6: Coca-Cola C2
2004 - 2007
Today, healthy eating (and drinking) is more important than it’s ever been; but in 2004, Coca-Cola tried to get ahead of the trend by launching this new product, with half the sugar, and thus calories and carbs, of Coke Classic. It was launched with a very aggressive advertising campaign, with people being bombarded by posters, banners, and TV commercials featuring the Queen song, “I Want to Break Free.” However, only a year after the launch of Coca-Cola C2, Coke Zero was released, and C2 suffered. After just three years it was retired for good.
#5: Tab Clear
1992 - 1994
In the 1960s Coca-Cola launched the diet soda Tab, which became incredibly popular. So popular, in fact, that in 1992 they released a new variety called Tab Clear, which promised the exact same flavor, with one crucial difference – it was completely transparent. This step was intended to challenge Pepsi Crystal, another transparent soft drink; but it didn’t go to plan and was discontinued in 1994. The weirdest fact about Tab Clear was that, in the US, it was only sold in cans; you’d think they’d have wanted to use a plastic bottle to show off how clear it was, but apparently not.
#4: Diet Coke Plus
2007 - 2011
Here’s the healthy trend again. This formulation contained everything people already liked about regular Diet Coke, with the additions of various vitamins and antioxidants. This led it to be marketed as . . . wait for it . . . “Diet Coke with Vitamins and Minerals.” But in 2008 the Food and Drug Administration took issue and ruled that the drink didn’t contain nearly enough nutrients to justify calling itself “Plus.” Coke argued back that just the word “Plus” didn’t mean it was supposed to be healthier, but it was ultimately removed from shelves in the US in 2011, though you can still find it in Japan.
When people drink milk, the one thing they think about is how much they wish their milk tasted more like soda. Right? Well, that’s what Coca-Cola thought when they launched their “fruit-flavored carbonated milk drink” in 2009. Vio came in four flavors: Citrus Burst, Peach Mango, Very Berry and Tropical Colada, and was described by a Coke copywriter as being like “a birthday party for a polar bear.” It was such a huge failure that it was never fully introduced to markets and is now only produced in very limited quantities for sale in India. It was even dubbed one of the worst beverage ideas in history by Time Magazine.
#2: Coca-Cola BlāK
2006 - 2008
While trying to tap into the luxury coffee market, Coke created one of their weirdest products to date, with an unusually stylised name. Coca-Cola BlāK was a soda designed to taste like expensive coffee. Coke also tried to make it seem more appealing by making it seem scarcer, selling it in 8-ounce bottles and only allowing people to buy either one or four of these bottles at a time. And by most accounts, the taste was . . . not great. Interesting factoid: when it was sold in France, it came in an aluminum bottle, not a can. Ooh la la!
#1: New Coke
1985 - 2002
In 1985, Coca-Cola took drastic action to out-do their competitors by launching “New Coke,” which was, essentially, Coke tweaked to taste more like Pepsi. This move is now regarded as one of the biggest marketing disasters in history. It was only after a huge public backlash and protests that Coke reintroduced the original recipe, under the name “Coca-Cola Classic,” after a mere three months. The company found out the hard way that the people who preferred Pepsi wanted to drink . . . Pepsi, and the people who preferred Coke wanted to drink . . . yeah, you guessed it.