After 12 years, Coca-Cola is re-introducing Surge.
The world's biggest beverage company will begin selling 12-packs of the sweet citrus drink on Amazon Monday, according to a statement, marking the first time Coca-Cola has sold a product exclusively online. The company says the move is a response to a wave of nostalgia for the citrus soda — and an example of Coca-Cola listening to fans.
Surge, launched in 1996 as an answer to PepsiCo-owned Mountain Dew, was the company's most aggressive launch of a soda brand in that decade. While initial reception to the beverage was strong, its appeal had all but faded by the early 2000s. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Coke's hometown paper, was already calling it a "classic example of failure" in 2003 after most production ceased the prior year.
But children and teens of the '90s have recalled Surge fondly since then, some more fanatically than others.
Coca-Cola said a Facebook group called "SURGE Movement," with more than 128,000 likes, played into its decision to bring the beverage back.
The group, devoted to seeking the re-release of Surge, was founded on Dec. 23, 2011, according to its "About" page. It regularly posts about the beverage, asking members questions like: "If SURGE came back, how or where would you want it distributed?" and "It's the 90's. You're chugging an ice cold SURGE on a hot summer day driving by the beach with the windows down. What's playing on the radio?" (Answers for the first question include "Directly into my mouth via water hose," while artists such as Sugar Ray and the Offspring are among names listed for the second.)
"Future plans for the brand will depend on the level of excitement exhibited by fans across the country," Wendy Clark, president of sparkling and strategic marketing for Coca-Cola North America, said in the statement.
It seems to be going well so far: the first batch of Surge sold out after about an hour. More is now available on the website.
The first batch of Surge sold out after about an hour, though supplies have been refreshed.
The first batch of Surge is sold out.
Surge is available again on Amazon.
Sapna Maheshwari is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Maheshwari reports on retail and e-commerce.
Contact Sapna Maheshwari at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.