MissIn the `80s, Coke's leadership commissioned "Project Kansas," a secret effort to develop a new formula for the iconic soda after Pepsi gained a huge amount of market share. It wasn't meant to sit alongside original coke on shelves, but rather to replace it entirely.
"Here's a product launch that actually sparked protests," said Hall. "Coke forgot people's connection to the brand." While New Coke actually performed well in major cities, it sparked a big backlash in the South, its own backyard. Soon Coke execs were receiving angry letters, and even Fidel Castro denounced the change (attributing it, inevitably, to "American capitalism"). Less than three months after the formula was introduced, Coke caved and brought back the original formula, which actually led to a sales spike.