Part III: What Success Tastes Like!

Hint: It tastes like SURGE! (and hopefully TaB!)

In our prior blog post, we shared the story of the SURGE Movement.  Where we left off, the group had been working hard to get Coca-Cola’s attention around the demand for SURGE to hopefully get it brought back into production.

It’s Coming Back!

In 2014 (after 2.5 years of effort), the SURGE Movement finally had received the exact message they wanted to hear from Coca-Cola’s President:  J.A.M. (Sandy) Douglas.  The e-mail said “…thanks for your ongoing interest in SURGE.  We are working on a plan to make SURGE available again by popular demand and we will follow up with you as soon as it’s ready.  Thanks.”

“When we received the first communication from [Coca-Cola’s President], making us aware of SURGE’s imminent return, I literally couldn’t stay standing.” said Sheridan.  “I was so excited, my body alternated between bouts of jumping and uncontrollable school-girl giggling, and collapsing to my knees, overwhelmed by the gravity of what was happening.”

And it was actually happening 😊

Visiting Coca-Cola Atlanta

As the plans for bringing SURGE back began to emerge, the SURGE Movement members were invited to Coca-Cola headquarters for a SURGE launch party.  The group had never met in person—so this opportunity was going to be exciting on many levels.  “I had been working with Evan and Sean every single day for the last 2-2.5 years so to finally have had an opportunity to meet them in person was an extremely amazing experience,” said Winans. 

“I can’t describe the feeling that came over me when I turned the corner and saw the surprise SURGE party,” said Carr. “The celebration was amazing…the energy behind the relaunch of this product…was…so full of energy!”

SURGE Movement members pose with Coca-Cola Employees at the SURGE Launch party.  Photo by Marc Andrew Stephens, courtesy of SURGE Movement

After the Revival

When Coca-Cola brought SURGE back, they started with an online-only distribution through Amazon.  And it expanded from there!

During the course of six years, SURGE was produced in:

  • 16-ounce cans
  • Frozen form (first at Burger King, and eventually at Cinemark Theaters, Wawa’s, Corner Stores, Royal Farms, Stripes, Quik Shops, Loaf ‘N Jugs, and other retailers throughout the nation)
  • 12-ounce cans (produced for a limited time only via Coca-Cola Consolidated Territory)
  • Fountain (SURGE bag-in-box)
  • Other Flavors!
    • SURGE Red Berry Blast, available at Circle K stores
  • Freestyle Machines
    • Surge, Surge Zero, SURGE Vanilla Vibe, SURGE Cherry Rush, and SURGE Grape Glory (only in Burger King)

During the time of SURGE’s growth, the SURGE Movement lived on in social media. The SURGE Movement Admins worked together to ensure a positive future for SURGE.   “We’ve got something special going on that isn’t going away,” said Carr.  “SURGE is in all of our hearts forever and the Movement is where we celebrate.”

2020 Happened

Unfortunately, for SURGE fans and TaB fans alike—it’s very difficult to obtain our sodas these days.  TaB has been completely eliminated (other than via fountain at three Coca-Cola Store locations in Atlanta, Orlando, and Las Vegas).

SURGE, while it has not been eliminated, is currently not being bottled or distributed (due to covid supply chain issues, aluminum shortages, and ongoing company transitions).  Coca-Cola has temporarily ceased the bottling, production, and distribution of SURGE.  Until it’s available in a more widespread manner, SURGE fans can continue to purchase SURGE at participating Burger King Freestyle locations nationwide.

But this is not the end…it is only the beginning!

2021 and Beyond!

SURGE Movement Admins Matt, Evan, and Sean have been through a lot trying to save their favorite soda.  And we appreciate their willingness to share their stories with us.  With the addition of admins Joey Chemis and Bingo Henderer, they are ready to help take SURGE to the next level!

Words of Wisdom

In closing, they have a few words of encouragement for TaB (and SURGE) lovers alike:

We at the SURGE Movement are seeing the energy being put behind TaB and are inspired by how organized these efforts are. Our advice is to never give up and keep trying new things, let the community decide what’s best.

These brands are much more than soda brands– to those who grew up with them, they are lifestyles. As our community continues to ensure SURGE expands and is broadened, there should be some room on the shelf for TaB as well.

Keep up the hard work and continue to show the loyalty that makes a great brand. In most of our eyes, the comeback story for SURGE is mostly unwritten. Eventually with a balance of the right strategies, the uphill battle will pay off and the power of the people will win the pennant. We at the SURGE Movement wish your team and community the greatest luck ahead!

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed the blog posts about products that have been discontinued and brought back due to consumer demand.  And we hope they have helped to inspire and energize you around our plan to Save TaB Soda!

While SURGE and TaB are very different-tasting sodas, there are a lot of similarities between the products and their fans:  the drinkers are incredibly loyal, and the products are very unique and very iconic.  SURGE screams 1990s, while TaB was the leading diet drink from the prior three decades.  Both are “retro,” and both have cemented themselves as pop culture icons!

Stay tuned for additional blog posts about saving our soda, and how you can help!  It’s going to take all of us to make a difference.

If you haven’t yet–don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!

Published by savetabsoda

The SaveTaBSoda Committee was formed in 2021 to help convince Coca-Cola to bring back TaB Soda! It was discontinued in 2020, and we weren't finished with it yet. Join us in our efforts to save TaB from the history books.

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