Image: Coke Classic cans
Justin Sullivan  /  Getty Images file
Cans of Coca-Cola are seen on the shelf at Tower Market in San Francisco, California. Coca-Cola is phasing out the 'Classic' label, according to The Wall Street Journal.
updated 1/30/2009 12:58:01 PM ET 2009-01-30T17:58:01

Neither "New" nor "Classic," Coke is simply itself again.

Two decades after adding the designation, the Coca-Cola Co. is removing the word "Classic" from its prominent location on the flagship cola sold in the U.S., a company spokesman said Friday.

"The reason for being, for classic as a descriptor, has all but disappeared," spokesman Scott Williamson said.

The "Classic" tagline — right under the script Coca-Cola logo — was added in 1985, when the company introduced a formula that consumers called "New Coke." New Coke never caught on and was sold sparingly until it was dropped in 2004.

Coke Classic is the leading soda brand in the world. About 1.7 billion cases of Coke Classic were sold in the U.S. in 2007, according to Beverage Digest. The trade journal reported the removal of the "classic" name earlier Friday.

Williamson said Coca-Cola decided to make the change as it launches a new global marketing campaign it's calling "Open Happiness." He said it was not an appeal to younger consumers, although the company has said before it wants to appeal to younger drinkers as soda sales decline in the U.S.

"Taking it off will modestly contemporize the brand because, to some people, classic doesn't sound youthful and contemporary," Beverage Digest Editor John Sicher said.

While "Classic" is coming off the logo, the word will not disappear completely from Coca-Cola packaging. It will still use the phrase "Coke Classic original formula" in a less prominent place.

The change will show up nationwide during the first part of this year.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.94%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.19%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.58%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.40%
13.40%
Cash Back Cards 17.92%
17.91%
Rewards Cards 17.12%
17.11%
Source: Bankrate.com