From 1977 to 2001, Americans doubled their consumption of sweetened beverages. This increase in consumption sparked a high-stakes advertising and marketing war for the dollars of American consumers. Companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi were on the front lines of introducing new products to steal market share away from each other. As with any consumer packaged goods company, soft drink companies have released winners and losers over the years. Let’s take a look at five soft drinks in particular, that failed miserably for simple reasons.
Surge was an attempt by Coca-Cola to compete with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew. What better way than to bring their Norwegian drink Urge to the U.S.? Surge associated itself with the extreme sports lifestyle similar to those who drank Mountain Dew at the time. The cheesy bright green can with a red paint splat was discontinued in 2001.
Vault was a citrus flavored soft drink that contained many of the same ingredients as Surge. Some say in 2006, Coca-Cola slapped a new name and label onto Surge bottles. Although Vault had some of my favorite commercials of all-time, it was another failed attempt by Coca-Cola to steal market share away from Mountain Dew. Vault was officially discontinued in 2011, but disappeared long before then. Lesson: Innovate, don’t imitate!
Crystal Pepsi (1992-1993)
Clear was the ‘90s marketing fad that meant something was pure. We’ll always wonder how executives could poor millions into a drink that tastes the exact same as an existing product, but is a different color. Talk about trying to steal from a cash cow. It’s not hard to find people that say they “miss” Crystal Pepsi, but after the novelty of the product wore off, customers stopped buying it. Within a year of its launch in 1992, Crystal Pepsi disappeared.
Brought to us by the good folks at Clearly Canadian, Inc. (insert Canadian joke), Orbitz looked more like a portable lava lamp than a drink. Original flavors included Raspberry Citrus, Blueberry Melon Strawberry, and Pineapple Banana Cherry Coconut; I think they were trying a little too hard. Trying it once was worth the experience, but nobody likes drinking anything with partially gelatinized balls suspended in it! Orbitz was discontinued within a year of its release in 1997.
All Sport (1993-2001)
Created by Pepsi in response to the success of Stokely-Van Camp’s Gatorade and Coca-Cola’s Powerade, All Sport’s biggest problem was the carbonation it contained. After sales stagnated, Pepsi finally got smart and bought Gatorade in 2001 and sold the All Sport brand. Word on the street is that All Sport still exists somewhere in the country, but without the carbonation.
While the demand for sweetened beverages in America won’t be decreasing anytime soon, there has been a recent rise in healthy alternatives to sugar-loaded soft drinks available. Still, there is no disputing that water is vital to the body operating efficiently and properly. Although switching from soft drinks to water can seem hard, making water a lifelong choice will pay dividends in energy and overall health for years to come. How have you made drinking more water a priority in your life? Let me know in the comments section below, or via Twitter.
About the Author: Tagg writes on behalf of CableTV.com. He typically writes about health and technology. When he’s not writing or tinkering on the latest gadget, he’s at his local gym. You can follow him on Twitter: @CableTV.