Circa 1996 was the year that was witness to the launch of Surge, a citrus-flavored beverage, by Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) in a bid to compete with Mountain Dew, a similar drink marketed by its arch-rival PepsiCo. As luck would have it, this brand turned out to be one the most short-lived creations and was soon taken off the product list as also shelves by the time the new century had just begun. After having remained dormant for all these years, Surge has been injected with fresh life and re-launched by Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) amidst a lot of fanfare on the Internet.
Revival of this type and magnitude has been unheard of in the beverage industry and is the first of its kind courtesy of being channeled through e-commerce rather than the usual strategy. Previously ranked as 7th in the list of discontinued sodas’ on listserv.com, Surge is now back with a vengeance wherein it will be sold in packs of 12 cans with each bearing a capacity of 16 ounce and costing $14.
On its part Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) appears to be guarded about the strategy as is evident from its President, Strategic Marketing, Wendy Clark’s comment –
“If expectations are met, this may be only the first of a variety of efforts we explore to launch niche products through e-commerce relationships. This will be a great learning experience for us and a refreshing opportunity for fans. Future plans for the brand will depend on the excitement exhibited by fans across the country.”
But the outcome so far has been positive with sales volume for Mountain Dew having shown a decline of 2.2% and that of Pepsi-Cola fell by 3.6%.
Much of the success could be attributed to the excitement amongst Surge fans on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as also on Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), the only website from where it can be purchased. This is aptly reflected in the following comment by avid enthusiasts –
“Hurry up and restock and take my money already!!!! This is the best soda on earth!”
“I just spent 45 dollars on soda and i’m not even mad.”
Boasting of 128,000 followers on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Surge movement is the dream start that Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) could have hoped for. But the company is adopting a cautious approach wherein it intends to join forces with Amazon.com to keep an eye on sales figures and inventory without disturbing the existing system.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu.