Coca-Cola Resurrects Surge Online Because the Nineties are Back
We all know that the 1990s are back, at least in terms of fashion and music trends. But for a true nineties kid, it’s never going to feel like the nineties if we aren’t all getting hopped up and hypercaffeinated on the neon citrus soft drink bliss that is Surge, introduced in 1996 and tragically discontinued around 2002.
The Coca-Cola Company understands that. More importantly, it knows the kind of monetary force swelling behind the Millennial generation, between the younger Millennials reviving nineties trends today the older Millennials who lived through Surge the first time and still crave their nostalgic cult favorites. So in recognition of both sides of that lucrative coin, Coca-Cola is bringing back Surge after a twelve-year discontinuance.
Coca-Cola is citing Surge’s enthusiastic online fan base, petitioning the company for years with Facebook pages and news articles and roadside billboards, as the catalyst for this relaunch. “They’ve inspired us,” says Racquel Mason, associate vice president of sparkling flavors, Coca-Cola North America, in a press release for the Surge relaunch. “More than 128,000 people a dozen years after a brand left the market saying, ‘Please bring it back!’ That’s the best compliment any brand could hope for. “This is the ultimate test… Can 128,000 fans build and sustain a brand? We’ll see.”
But that does raise an interesting point: when you’re dealing with a niche product like this, it can be difficult to gauge true consumer demand. How many people really want Surge back, and how many people just like to talk about nostalgia items? How will the demand in one region compare to demand in another?
Instead of dealing with such logistics and putting stress on its supply chain over what could turn out to be a brief novelty offer, Coca-Cola has instead decided to take this launch online by partnering with Amazon to give its 1990s throwback a uniquely modern e-commerce rebirth.
“If expectations are met, this may be only the first of a variety of efforts we explore to launch niche products through e-commerce relationships,” said Wendy Clark, president of sparkling and strategic marketing, Coca-Cola North America, in Coca-Cola’s press release. “This will be a great learning experience for us and a refreshing opportunity for fans.”
“In this new era of marketing, we’re exploring segmented delivery of our portfolio to consumers,” adds Mason. “Previously, a smaller brand would never have had a realistic shot at commercialization. Now with Amazon, consumers can order a product like SURGE and have it delivered directly to their doorstep. It’s the democratization of demand.”
With that, original formula Surge will be available through http://www.amazon.com/surge in 12-count case packs for an as-of-yet unspecified price. It’s an interesting new frontier in retailing, especially from a major brand like Coca-Cola. If it pays off and Surge finds new sustained life in the digital retail channel, perhaps other companies will be inspired to do the same and revive some cult favorites of their own.
Hy-Vee and Google Cloud partner
Hy-Vee has signed a multiyear partnership with Google Cloud to stay on the cutting edge of digital technology and drive innovation for its customers – both in store and online.
One of the most popular grocery stores in the USA, Hy-Vee is an employee-owned corporation headquartered in Iowa with a revenue of $11b.
Google Cloud services will support Hy-vee customers
While Hy-Vee has worked to stay at the forefront of digital shopping trends, the COVID-19 pandemic affected grocery shopping in many ways, causing more consumers to shop online and create higher demand in its virtual shopping space.
Utilizing Google Cloud’s solutions, localised information and features will make it easier for customers to complete their grocery shopping online and allow Hy-Vee to provide more personalized service and easier ordering.
The company is utilsing a suite of services powered by Google Cloud to:
- Make online shopping easier for customers who use its Hy-Vee Aisles Online services,
- To integrate Hy-Vee’s virtual dietitian services
- To enable customers to schedule vaccinations online including the COVID-19 vaccine.
The continued integration of Google Cloud services will help Hy-Vee launch future innovations as the company fulfills its mission of making customers’ lives easier.
Hy-vee is bringing innovative technology to customers
As recently reported in Food Digital, Kroger has started a drone delivery service for customers in Ohio. Now Hy-Vee has found another unique way to deliver to customers an improved shopping experience.
“The pandemic accelerated many digital initiatives for Hy-Vee as consumers shifted the way they shopped at our stores,” said Aaron Wiese, President, Digital Growth, and Co-Chief Operating Officer at Hy-Vee. “Google Cloud is helping us provide a unique and more personalized experience as we work to integrate all our digital platforms and look to further simplify the customer’s interaction with our services – whether that be in our aisles in person or online.”
“Hy-Vee is leading the way in bringing innovative technologies to its customers,” said Jim Anderson, Managing Director for Google Cloud. “We’re proud to partner with Hy-Vee to streamline processes and power innovative digital experiences. As they look toward the future, our services will help accelerate the grocer’s plans to be the best place to shop.”