The 1980s See More New Products Introduced
In 1982 Diet Coke and Cherry Coke were introduced. By 1984 Diet Coke had become the top low calorie soft drink in the world. In 1982 Southeastern Containers was formed in Enka, North Carolina, by the same nucleus of bottlers who formed South Atlantic Canners. It was formed to produce plastic bottles for the soft drink industry.
Coke in Space
On July 31, 1985, Coca-Cola was the first soft drink consumed in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger.
In 1985 the introduction of a new taste of Coca-Cola, called New Coke, and the reintroduction of Coca-Cola Classic, the original formula, led to multiple slogans, while by 1986, two slogans were used to differentiate the brands. The Coca-Cola Company had attempted to change the secret formula. Due to the taste wars with Pepsi, the company felt it was time to see if they could develop sweeter tasting syrup. Follow-up taste tests revealed that most consumers preferred the taste of New Coke to both Coke and Pepsi, but all the testing and research could not measure the emotional attachment Americans had for the original formula. That original taste had become more than just a soft drink, and consumers’ deep feelings, memories and loyalties to it came alive. The Coca-Cola Company listened to its consumers and quickly responded by returning the original formula to the market as Coca-Cola Classic.
Milestones and Achievements in the 1980s
In 1982 Coca Cola purchased Columbia pictures and in 1989 began operations into Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1986 Coca-Cola celebrated its 100th anniversary one year after the death of its leader, Robert Woodruff. In 1988 three independent worldwide surveys conducted by Landor and Associates confirmed Coca-Cola as the best-known, most admired trademark in the world.
More Sales on Winthrop’s Campus
In 1986 Winthrop College in Rock Hill celebrated its 100th birthday, as well as inaugurated the college’s first woman president, Dr. Martha Piper. The Coca-Cola Bottler February issue recalled that Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company helped celebrate the college’s centennial by producing a commemorative bottled filled with Coca-Cola Classic. This was also the decade that the company placed vendors with dollar bill validators and boosted Winthrop campus vending sales and profits. Campus sales for the bottling company increased 2,400% in one year.
Rock Hill Coke Caters to a Changing Customer Base
Bottler’s promotions in small food stores boosted inventory and gained sales. The Coca-Cola Bottler, Dec 1982 issue relates, “Through the early years, small food stores played a major role in establishing the strong consumer preference brand Coke currently enjoys. But the shift of consumer shopping habits toward high volume supermarket chains has drawn some attention away from the ongoing role of small food stores and their continuing importance. Bottlers like Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company addressed this issue by servicing the large number of small food stores in the area. To increase volume, the Rock Hill Company scaled more promotions to the small grocers’ volume and offered them merchandising assistance. Dump bins and barrel coolers increased inventory and sales. Special promotions, attractive pricing and large displays also boosted sales.”