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Surge (drink)

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Surge
Original and second logo
TypeCitrus soda
ManufacturerThe Coca-Cola Company
Country of originUnited States
IntroducedFebruary 7, 1997; 25 years ago (1997-02-07) (original run)
2014; 9 years ago (2014) (Amazon-exclusive; revival)
2015; 8 years ago (2015) (Eastern United States)
August 2018; 4 years ago (2018-08) (all Burger King and McDonald's Coca-Cola Freestyle machines)
Discontinued2003; 20 years ago (2003) (original run)
ColorLight Green
Related productsCitra/Fanta Citrus
Mello Yello
Mountain Dew
Sprite
Sun Drop
Urge
Vault

Surge (sometimes styled as SURGE) is a citrus-flavored soft drink first produced in the 1990s by The Coca-Cola Company to compete with Pepsi's Mountain Dew. Surge was advertised as having a more "hardcore" edge, much like Mountain Dew's advertising at the time, in an attempt to lure customers away from Pepsi. It was originally launched in Norway as Urge in 1996, and was so popular that it was released in the United States as Surge in 1997. Lagging sales caused production to be ended in 2003 for most markets.[1]

However, popular fan bases such as Facebook's "SURGE Movement" led Coca-Cola to re-release the soft drink on September 15, 2014, for the US market via Amazon Prime in 12-packs of 16-US-fluid-ounce (470 mL) cans.[2] Following a test-market for the beverage in the Southeastern United States in early 2015, Surge was re-released primarily in convenience stores in the Eastern United States and some Mountain states in September 2015. Surge was re-released internationally in September 2018 in Burger King restaurants in the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.

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The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation founded in 1892, best known as the producer of Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Company also manufactures, sells, and markets other non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups, and alcoholic beverages. The company's stock is listed on the NYSE and is part of the DJIA and the S&P 500 and S&P 100 indexes.

PepsiCo

PepsiCo

PepsiCo, Inc. is an American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation headquartered in Harrison, New York, in the hamlet of Purchase. PepsiCo's business encompasses all aspects of the food and beverage market. It oversees the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of its products. PepsiCo was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company and Frito-Lay, Inc. PepsiCo has since expanded from its namesake product Pepsi Cola to an immensely diversified range of food and beverage brands. The largest and most recent acquisition was Pioneer Foods in 2020 for US$1.7 billion and prior to it was buying the Quaker Oats Company in 2001, which added the Gatorade brand to the Pepsi portfolio and Tropicana Products in 1998.

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew, stylized as Mtn Dew in some countries, is a carbonated soft drink brand produced and owned by PepsiCo. The original formula was invented in 1940 by Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman. A revised formula was created by Bill Bridgforth in 1958. The rights to this formula were obtained by the Tip Corporation of Marion, Virginia. William H. "Bill" Jones of the Tip Corporation further refined the formula, launching that version of Mountain Dew in 1961. In August 1964, the Mountain Dew brand and production rights were acquired from Tip by the Pepsi-Cola company, and the distribution expanded across the United States and Canada.

Urge (drink)

Urge (drink)

Urge is a citrus flavored soft drink produced by Coca-Cola Norway that was first introduced in the country in 1996, and later on was released in Denmark and Sweden. It is the predecessor of the American soft drink Surge, which was introduced in the US in 1997. Urge was discontinued in Denmark and Sweden in 2001. In Norway, Urge sales increased greatly over the years reaching a market share near 10% despite receiving no marketing since its initial launch.

Facebook

Facebook

Facebook is an online social media and social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, its name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students. Membership was initially limited to Harvard students, gradually expanding to other North American universities and, since 2006, anyone over 13 years old. As of July 2022, Facebook claimed 2.93 billion monthly active users, and ranked third worldwide among the most visited websites as of July 2022. It was the most downloaded mobile app of the 2010s.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service from Amazon which is available in various countries and gives users access to additional services otherwise unavailable or available at a premium to other Amazon customers. Services include same, one- or two-day delivery of goods and streaming music, video, e-books, gaming and grocery shopping services. In April 2021, Amazon reported that Prime had more than 200 million subscribers worldwide.

Southeastern United States

Southeastern United States

The Southeastern United States, also referred to as the American Southeast or simply the Southeast, is a geographical region of the United States. It is located broadly on the eastern portion of the southern United States and the southern portion of the Eastern United States. It comprises at least a core of states on the lower East Coast of the United States and eastern Gulf Coast. Expansively, it reaches as far north as West Virginia and Maryland, and stretches as far west as Arkansas and Louisiana. There is no official U.S. government definition of the region, though various agencies and departments use different definitions.

Eastern United States

Eastern United States

The Eastern United States, often abbreviated as simply The East or The East Coast, is a region of the United States located east of the Mississippi River. It includes 26 states and the national capital of Washington, D.C. As of 2011, the region had an estimated population exceeding 179 million, representing over 58 percent of the total U.S. population.

Mountain states

Mountain states

The Mountain states form one of the nine geographic divisions of the United States that are officially recognized by the United States Census Bureau. It is a subregion of the Western United States.

Burger King

Burger King

Burger King (BK) is an American-based multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. Headquartered in Miami-Dade County, Florida, the company was founded in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida–based restaurant chain. After Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties, its two Miami-based franchisees David Edgerton (1927–2018) and James McLamore (1926–1996) purchased the company in 1959 and renamed it "Burger King". Over the next half-century, the company changed hands four times and its third set of owners, a partnership of TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners took it public in 2002. In late 2010, 3G Capital of Brazil acquired a majority stake in the company, in a deal valued at US$3.26 billion. The new owners promptly initiated a restructuring of the company to reverse its fortunes. 3G, along with partner Berkshire Hathaway, eventually merged the company with the Canadian-based doughnut chain Tim Hortons, under the auspices of a new Canadian-based parent company named Restaurant Brands International.

History

Early years

Urge: the Norwegian variant of Surge
Urge: the Norwegian variant of Surge

In 1997, Coca-Cola started production of Surge in the United States, with its original whitepaper name being "MDK," or "Mountain Dew Killer."[3] It was developed to converge with Mello Yello as a means of slowing Mountain Dew growth. Coke's attempts to draw users away with divergent products like OK Soda or with similar ones like Mello Yello had not succeeded. Surge was intended to improve on Mountain Dew by using maltodextrin for a longer-lasting blast of energy and with bolder, brighter presentation. Its release was accompanied by a $50 million nationwide marketing campaign that led to high sales and popularity. A few years after the release, sales began to slip. Surge continued to be sold in vending machines, and 5-foot-7-inch-tall (1.70 m) promotional surge coolers. The Surge coolers were placed in high traffic areas in gas stations as a key promotion to push sales away from competitors coolers in the back of stores all over the United States. Surge cans and fountain drinks until its eventual discontinuation in 2003.[1][4]

While preparations for the US launch were underway, a cry for help came in from the Norwegian Division, who were battling a successful launch of Mountain Dew in their market. Because the Surge brand was already registered by another firm, the product was launched as "Urge". Local food regulation prevented the bright green color from being used, so it was launched with a pale, more natural juice drink look and given a slight orange taste to match the flavor with the color.

Until September 15, 2014, when Coca-Cola re-released Surge, Norway was the only country where one could still buy a similar soft drink in any form, as the original Surge recipe was still popular there.[5]

Surge was widely associated with the extreme sports lifestyle, with television commercials similar to those used by Mountain Dew at the time.[6] Coca-Cola also used provocative catchphrases to market Surge to extreme sports enthusiasts and teenagers alike. Some of these catchphrases included "Feed the Rush", "Life's a Scream" and the references to Surge as "A Fully Loaded Citrus Soda." Further touted was the fact that Surge had a considerable number of carbohydrates, hence the "with carbos" tagline that was occasionally used in the marketing campaigns to emphasize the fact that Surge was supposed to be more than a soda, but an energy drink as well.[7]

After its inception, Surge's logo was updated and redesigned to a sharper and more modern look by a graphic designer/marketer named Colin Nekritz.[3]

Trademark

In 1997 Coca-Cola settled a trademark dispute with Babson Bros., an industrial cleaning product company whose cow-milking machine has been known as Surge since 1925.[8]

Revival

After the discontinuation of Surge in cans, a community was formed by web designer Eric "Karks" Karkovack entitled "Save Surge". The community initially mapped the locations at which Surge could be purchased in fountain form. Upon cancellation of the fountain syrup, the community continued, adopting an approach of activism that led to the creation of the citrus soda Vault in June 2005.[7] After Vault's release, Karkovack announced the closure of SaveSurge.org. Vault was discontinued in 2011.

As a result of Vault's discontinuation, a group was started on Facebook by Evan Carr called the "Surge Movement". The group repeatedly posted requests on Coca-Cola's Facebook page, and encouraged its members to call Coca-Cola's consumer affairs hotline at 1-800-GET-COKE to voice their desires further, once every month. The movement gained around 200,000 Facebook "likes" in the months after it was started and continues to grow.[9]

On September 15, 2014, Surge was re-released as an Amazon.com exclusive in packs of twelve 16-US-fluid-ounce (470 ml) cans.[10]

On February 10, 2015, Coca-Cola announced that it had begun test-marketing Surge with independent resellers and vending machines across the Southeast United States. The test run ended in late-May 2015. Two months later, Coca-Cola announced that it was preparing for a large-scale Surge retail release across the Eastern United States. Surge was re-released at convenience stores across the Eastern United States on September 7, 2015.

In August 2018, Surge became available in Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, exclusively at Burger King.[11] It is available in several varieties, including Cherry, Grape, Vanilla, and Zero Sugar.[12]

Slushy versions

On November 16, 2015, Burger King restaurants released a slushy version of the beverage called "Frozen Surge" as a limited edition slushy. Burger King reintroduced it in their restaurants as a fountain drink in August, 2018 [13]

In late 2016, Valero Corner Stores partnered with Icee to release an Icee form of Surge at select locations.

On January 11, 2017, Cinemark theaters released a slushy version of the beverage called "Surge Frozen" for a limited time before being discontinued in Spring 2017.

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Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew, stylized as Mtn Dew in some countries, is a carbonated soft drink brand produced and owned by PepsiCo. The original formula was invented in 1940 by Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman. A revised formula was created by Bill Bridgforth in 1958. The rights to this formula were obtained by the Tip Corporation of Marion, Virginia. William H. "Bill" Jones of the Tip Corporation further refined the formula, launching that version of Mountain Dew in 1961. In August 1964, the Mountain Dew brand and production rights were acquired from Tip by the Pepsi-Cola company, and the distribution expanded across the United States and Canada.

Mello Yello

Mello Yello

Mello Yello is a highly caffeinated, citrus-flavored soft drink produced, distributed and created by The Coca-Cola Company that was introduced on March 12, 1979, to compete with PepsiCo's Mountain Dew.

OK Soda

OK Soda

OK Soda is a discontinued soft drink created by The Coca-Cola Company in 1993 that courted the American Generation X demographic with unusual advertising tactics, including neo-noir design, chain letters and deliberately negative publicity. After the soda did not sell well in select test markets, it was officially declared out of production in 1995 before reaching nationwide distribution. The drink's slogan was "Things are going to be OK."

Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used as a food ingredient. It is produced from vegetable starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a white hygroscopic spray-dried powder. Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose and may be either moderately sweet or almost flavorless. It can be found as an ingredient in a variety of processed foods.

Vault (drink)

Vault (drink)

Vault was a sweetened carbonated beverage that was released by The Coca-Cola Company in June 2005 and marketed until December 2011. It was touted as an artificially flavored hybrid energy soda. Coca-Cola was marketing Vault as a combination with the slogan "Drinks like a soda, kicks like an energy drink," as well as "The Taste. The Quench. The Kick." "Get it done, and then some," "Chug & Charge," and "Get to it!"

Coca-Cola Freestyle

Coca-Cola Freestyle

Coca-Cola Freestyle is a touch screen soda fountain introduced by The Coca-Cola Company in 2009. The machine features 165 different Coca-Cola drink products, as well as custom flavors. The machine allows users to select from mixtures of flavors of Coca-Cola branded products which are then individually dispensed. The machines are currently located in major Coca-Cola partners and retail locations as a part of a gradual and ongoing deployment.

Burger King

Burger King

Burger King (BK) is an American-based multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. Headquartered in Miami-Dade County, Florida, the company was founded in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida–based restaurant chain. After Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties, its two Miami-based franchisees David Edgerton (1927–2018) and James McLamore (1926–1996) purchased the company in 1959 and renamed it "Burger King". Over the next half-century, the company changed hands four times and its third set of owners, a partnership of TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners took it public in 2002. In late 2010, 3G Capital of Brazil acquired a majority stake in the company, in a deal valued at US$3.26 billion. The new owners promptly initiated a restructuring of the company to reverse its fortunes. 3G, along with partner Berkshire Hathaway, eventually merged the company with the Canadian-based doughnut chain Tim Hortons, under the auspices of a new Canadian-based parent company named Restaurant Brands International.

Formulation

Comparisons of Surge have been made to a later Coca-Cola product, Vault, which was first released in 2005—around two years after the discontinuation of Surge. Vault has also been discontinued as of December 2011. The two drinks are noted to have had similar taste, although Vault contained higher levels of caffeine at 70.5 mg per 12 fl. oz serving (equivalent to 199 mg/L) and contained artificial flavors in its recipe. The caffeine content of Surge was comparable to that of other citrus soft drinks in the American market during its time at 51 mg per 12 fl. oz serving (144 mg/L).[14]

Below is a listing of the ingredients of Surge, per the label on the canned and bottled versions, as well as the ingredient listings from both a Surge fountain syrup box, and a Surge frozen carbonated beverage box. All four differ slightly; however, more information regarding the Surge formulation can be gleaned from both syrup variations, as they were to be mixed using a ratio of 4.4 parts cold, carbonated water to 1 part syrup.[15]

Surge Can/Bottle (1997—2006)[16] Surge Fountain Syrup[17] Surge FCB Syrup[15] Surge Can (2014)[18]
Carbonated Water High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sucrose High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sucrose Carbonated Water
High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sucrose Water Water High Fructose Corn Syrup
Maltodextrin Maltodextrin Maltodextrin Maltodextrin
Citric Acid Citric Acid Citric Acid Citric Acid
Natural flavors Natural flavors Natural flavors Natural flavors
Concentrated Orange juice Concentrated Orange Juice Concentrated Orange Juice Orange Juice Concentrate
Potassium Benzoate Potassium Benzoate Yucca Extract Potassium Benzoate
EDTA and Erythorbic Acid EDTA and Erythorbic Acid Quillaia Potassium Citrate
Potassium Citrate Potassium Citrate Potassium Benzoate Caffeine
Caffeine Caffeine EDTA and Erythorbic Acid Calcium disodium EDTA
Yellow #5 Yellow #5 Potassium Citrate Yellow #5
Yellow #6 Yellow #6 Caffeine Yellow #6
Carob Bean Gum Carob Bean Gum Yellow #5 Carob Bean Gum
Blue #1 Blue #1 Yellow #6 Blue #1
    Carob Bean Gum  
    Blue #1  

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Vault (drink)

Vault (drink)

Vault was a sweetened carbonated beverage that was released by The Coca-Cola Company in June 2005 and marketed until December 2011. It was touted as an artificially flavored hybrid energy soda. Coca-Cola was marketing Vault as a combination with the slogan "Drinks like a soda, kicks like an energy drink," as well as "The Taste. The Quench. The Kick." "Get it done, and then some," "Chug & Charge," and "Get to it!"

Carbonated water

Carbonated water

Carbonated water is water containing dissolved carbon dioxide gas, either artificially injected under pressure or occurring due to natural geological processes. Carbonation causes small bubbles to form, giving the water an effervescent quality. Common forms include sparkling natural mineral water, club soda, and commercially-produced sparkling water.

Sucrose

Sucrose

Sucrose, a disaccharide, is a sugar composed of glucose and fructose subunits. It is produced naturally in plants and is the main constituent of white sugar. It has the molecular formula C12H22O11.

Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used as a food ingredient. It is produced from vegetable starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a white hygroscopic spray-dried powder. Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose and may be either moderately sweet or almost flavorless. It can be found as an ingredient in a variety of processed foods.

Orange juice

Orange juice

Orange juice is a liquid extract of the orange tree fruit, produced by squeezing or reaming oranges. It comes in several different varieties, including blood orange, navel oranges, valencia orange, clementine, and tangerine. As well as variations in oranges used, some varieties include differing amounts of juice vesicles, known as "pulp" in American English, and "(juicy) bits" in British English. These vesicles contain the juice of the orange and can be left in or removed during the manufacturing process. How juicy these vesicles are depend upon many factors, such as species, variety, and season. In American English, the beverage name is often abbreviated as "OJ".

Erythorbic acid

Erythorbic acid

Erythorbic acid is a stereoisomer of ascorbic acid. It is synthesized by a reaction between methyl 2-keto-D-gluconate and sodium methoxide. It can also be synthesized from sucrose or by strains of Penicillium that have been selected for this feature. It is denoted by E number E315, and is widely used as an antioxidant in processed foods.

Quillaia

Quillaia

Quillaia is the milled inner bark or small stems and branches of the soapbark. Other names include Murillo bark extract, Panama bark extract, Quillaia extract, Quillay bark extract, and Soapbark extract. Quillaia contains high concentrations of saponins that can be increased further by processing. Highly purified saponins from quillaia are used as adjuvants to enhance the effectiveness of vaccines. Other compounds in the crude extract include tannins and other polyphenols, and calcium oxalate.

Potassium citrate

Potassium citrate

Potassium citrate (also known as tripotassium citrate) is a potassium salt of citric acid with the molecular formula K3C6H5O7. It is a white, hygroscopic crystalline powder. It is odorless with a saline taste. It contains 38.28% potassium by mass. In the monohydrate form, it is highly hygroscopic and deliquescent.

Caffeine

Caffeine

Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methylxanthine class. It is mainly used recreationally as a cognitive enhancer, increasing alertness and attentional performance. Caffeine acts by blocking binding of adenosine to the adenosine A1 receptor, which enhances release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Caffeine has a three-dimensional structure similar to that of adenosine, which allows it to bind and block its receptors. Caffeine also increases cyclic AMP levels through nonselective inhibition of phosphodiesterase.

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is an aminopolycarboxylic acid with the formula [CH2N(CH2CO2H)2]2. This white, water-insoluble solid is widely used to bind to iron (Fe2+/Fe3+) and calcium ions (Ca2+), forming water-soluble complexes even at neutral pH. It is thus used to dissolve Fe- and Ca-containing scale as well as to deliver iron ions under conditions where its oxides are insoluble. EDTA is available as several salts, notably disodium EDTA, sodium calcium edetate, and tetrasodium EDTA, but these all function similarly.

Tartrazine

Tartrazine

Tartrazine is a synthetic lemon yellow azo dye primarily used as a food coloring. It is also known as E number E102, C.I. 19140, FD&C Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake, Acid Yellow 23, Food Yellow 4, and trisodium 1-(4-sulfonatophenyl)-4-(4-sulfonatophenylazo)-5-pyrazolone-3-carboxylate).

Source: "Surge (drink)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 30th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surge_(drink).

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References
  1. ^ a b "Why Mountain Dew Has No Reason To Fear The Return Of Surge". The Huffington Post. September 16, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  2. ^ Maheshwari,Sapna. "Coca-Cola Is Bringing Surge Back". Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Nekritz, Colin. "A Logo is More than a Logo – Surge Soda". Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  4. ^ "SaveSURGE.org - Dedicated to the preservation of SURGE - The Fully Loaded Citrus Soda! surge cola, surge soda, save surge, urge, fully loaded citrus soda". Archived from the original on December 17, 2002. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  5. ^ "Coca-Cola Norway website". Coca-Cola. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
  6. ^ "YouTube – Surge Barrels of Fun Commercial". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "SaveSURGE.org". Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  8. ^ "Coke settles dispute over Surge trademark". Southeast Missourian. January 24, 1997. p. 6B. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  9. ^ "SURGE MOVEMENT". Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  10. ^ Alter, Charlotte (September 2014). "Coca-Cola Is Bringing Back SURGE". Time. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  11. ^ @BurgerKing (August 13, 2018). "we interrupt your regularly scheduled Chicken Fries to tell you that SUUUUUUUUURGE is back! exclusively at BK" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ @ccfreestyle (April 10, 2019). "Now that there are four kinds of @SURGE available at @BurgerKing, we were wondering what Coca-Cola Freestyle would've looked like in the 90s" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Burger King Restaurants Give 90s Cult Favorite Drink a Brand New Kick with the Introduction of Frozen SURGE". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  14. ^ "How Much Caffeine is in Vault?". VaultKicks.org. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  15. ^ a b "Surge FCB Syrup". Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  16. ^ Parnell,Matt. "Matt Parnell's Brain: Plugged In! – Surge and Vault". Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  17. ^ "Surge Fountain Syrup". Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  18. ^ "Surge Ingredients and Nutritional Information - Coca-Cola". Retrieved September 25, 2015.
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