New Coke is back, baby! More than three decades after one of the most controversial new product launches in soda history, Coca-Cola is teaming up with the Netflix hit "Stranger Things" to bring back its failed 1985 cola. And when we say New Coke was a flop, we mean it. Coca-Cola Classic was back on store shelves after just 79 days. We had to know for ourselves: Is New Coke really that bad? So we did the only thing we could do. We tried it.
20 Things You Didn't Know About Coca-Cola
Our friends at Coca-Cola sent us a few cans of the relaunched New Coke, which uses the exact same formula that was canned and sold 34 years ago. Seven Daily Meal employees took blind sips of New Coke and Coca-Cola classic to compare the two. And, reader, we were shocked when we discovered that we actually thought New Coke was better than Coca-Cola Classic.
"New Coke is so much better. [Coca-Cola Classic] left a nasty aftertaste in my mouth, like a syrupy-sweet but off-putting flavor," one tester noted. The more mellow nature of New Coke overall was a hit; this formula seemed less saccharine and less bubbly than Coca-Cola Classic, and we appreciated that.
In fact, our tasters felt the taste of New Coke was much more similar to Diet Coke than to Coca-Cola Classic or Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which might be why folks in the '80s rejected it. Maybe it's true that Coca-Cola tried to fix something that wasn't broken, but New Coke deserves more credit. "New Coke is leaps and bounds better than Coke. I don't know what was in the water back in '85, but there is absolutely no competition when you put these two products back to back," another taster remarked.
If you want to try New Coke for yourself (or relive the '80s), you have to head to Coke's online store and buy the New Coke and "Stranger Things" 1985 Limited Edition Collector's Pack, which costs a whopping $19.95. For that price, you get an 8-ounce glass bottle of Coca-Cola Classic and an 8-ounce glass bottle of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with special "Stranger Things" logos as well as two "complimentary" 12-ounce cans of New Coke. The bundle is on sale now in limited quantities and will ship the week of June 3.
We were genuinely surprised by our fondness for New Coke, because the only things we'd ever heard about it were bad. But if you didn't know that New Coke was actually good, then you probably don't know these other things about your favorite soda brands.
Samples for review were provided by their producers at no cost to The Daily Meal.