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What Was Coke II?

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The story of New Coke is an oft-recited parable in the marketing world. Scared by Pepsi's rise and the success of the "Pepsi Challenge," Coca-Cola retooled their formula and introduced a newer, sweeter beverage in 1985 called "New Coke." "Old" Coke was completely removed from the market, and consumers aired their outrage at this debacle to the tune of 400,000 phone calls and letters sent to the soft drink manufacturer.

Less than three months after New Coke's unveiling, old Coke was reinstated as "Coca-Cola Classic" and all was right in the world. Americans returned in droves to the supermarket and picked up the old recipe they forgot they loved so much. Given the massive participation and swift results, the efforts to get old Coke back can be considered one of the most successful protest movements in U.S. history, a fact that is equal parts depressing and perfect.

Some say this was all a ruse by Coca-Cola to whip the public into a frenzy and generate new demand for an old product. This is unlikely, considering the company's commitment to New Coke. CEO Roberto Goizueta was still attached to the beverage and, when announcing the old recipe's return, stated that bottlers would have access to concentrates for New Coke and Coca-Cola Classic—the amount each was produced would be at their discretion. Coca-Cola Classic immediately outsold New Coke ten to one, and few bottlers ever re-ordered the New Coke concentrate again.

The company still harbored hope for the new recipe and they market tested it again as "Coke II" and formally re-released it in 1992 as part of the product line. But why were they so married to this total failure of a product? While never formally admitting it, New Coke (and Coke II) was supposedly cheaper to produce. According to The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company, shortly after New Coke was released in targeted markets, Pepsi had their chemists examine the formula. They found that it contained fewer flavored oils and vanilla and that "the new formula would save Coke about $50 million a year because it cut back on some of the most costly ingredients."

The different name didn't help, and Coke II was produced by fewer and fewer bottlers until it was killed off for good in 2002. Occasionally, unopened bottles will pop up on eBay, but don't bother buying one for a taste test. Coke II tasted just like New Coke: sweet and a little flat.

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Big Questions
What Is the Difference Between Generic and Name Brand Ibuprofen?
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What is the difference between generic ibuprofen vs. name brands?

Yali Friedman:

I just published a paper that answers this question: Are Generic Drugs Less Safe than their Branded Equivalents?

Here’s the tl;dr version:

Generic drugs are versions of drugs made by companies other than the company which originally developed the drug.

To gain FDA approval, a generic drug must:

  • Contain the same active ingredients as the innovator drug (inactive ingredients may vary)
  • Be identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration
  • Have the same use indications
  • Be bioequivalent
  • Meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality
  • Be manufactured under the same strict standards of FDA's good manufacturing practice regulations required for innovator products

I hope you found this answer useful. Feel free to reach out at www.thinkbiotech.com. For more on generic drugs, you can see our resources and whitepapers at Pharmaceutical strategic guidance and whitepapers

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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Big Questions
Do Cats Fart?
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Certain philosophical questions can invade even the most disciplined of minds. Do aliens exist? Can a soul ever be measured? Do cats fart?

While the latter may not have weighed heavily on some of history’s great brains, it’s certainly no less deserving of an answer. And in contrast to existential queries, there’s a pretty definitive response: Yes, they do. We just don’t really hear it.

According to veterinarians who have realized their job sometimes involves answering inane questions about animals passing gas, cats have all the biological hardware necessary for a fart: a gastrointestinal system and an anus. When excess air builds up as a result of gulping breaths or gut bacteria, a pungent cloud will be released from their rear ends. Smell a kitten’s butt sometime and you’ll walk away convinced that cats fart.

The discretion, or lack of audible farts, is probably due to the fact that cats don’t gulp their food like dogs do, leading to less air accumulating in their digestive tract.

So, yes, cats do fart. But they do it with the same grace and stealth they use to approach everything else. Think about that the next time you blame the dog.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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