Was The Pepsi Challenge Rigged?

Was the pepsi challenge rigged?

In 1975, PepsiCo began the ‘Pepsi Challenge’ a blind taste test in which ordinary people were asked which product they preferred (Pepsi vs Coca-Cola).

It was dubbed, The Cola Wars, and for the first time, cola industry leader Coca-Cola saw it’s flagship product lose market share to Pepsi.

The campaign suggested that, when it came down to taste alone, consumers preferred Pepsi over Coca-Cola.

However, some suggest that the Pepsi Challenge was rigged in favour of Pepsi in two ways:

Consumers were given a small sample of a much sweeter Pepsi
The Pepsi was served at refrigerator temperature, whereas the Coca-Cola was served much colder, not allowing the taste to fully come out.

In response to this massive campaign in which Coca-Cola was getting crushed, they created “New Coke”, which was a sweeter version of their original formula.

What Coca-Cola soon discovered was that in a small sample, the sweetness was preferred.

However, in large doses such as a 355 ml can or bottle, it was too much sweetness.

Consumer backlash led to the Coca-Cola abandoning New Coke and retreating to the previous formula under the name “Coca-Cola Classic”.

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