Remember back when soda was made with pure cane sugar instead of that cheap, syrupy corn sweetener junk?
At least once company -- Jones Soda -- does, and you can get something close to a Coca-Cola of old thanks to the company's excellent Pure Cane Cola. That's a good thing, too, as stuff flavored with real sugar just tastes better.
I've been mad about that corn syrup junk since Coca-Cola unveiled Coca-Cola Classic in the 1980s as part of a marketing scheme that I believe was both terribly evil and absolutely brilliant.
Let me explain. Back in the 1980s, Coca-Cola announced that it was phasing out that tired old Coke formula that people around the world were nuts for in favor of New Coke.
Such a plan was foolhardy, particularly here in the good old South where Coca-Cola was (and remains) so dominant that any soft drink was called a Coke. Going to the store to get a Nehi Peach, a Sprite or even a blasted Pepsi. You're getting a Coke, ace. Not a soda or a pop or anything like that -- a Coke, man.
I well remember growing up in central Arkansas when Coca-Cola announced the beloved old Coke was being taken off the market. People horded the original item and were mad as hell that their favorite drink was being replaced by something else. Truth be told, New Coke could have been the greatest stuff in the world and it would have still failed -- people were simply too attached to the original to embrace its successor.
We're lucky we avoided rioting in the streets back then. Why? Because you don't pull crap like that on Southerners -- especially if you happen to be a company headquartered in Atlanta. Honestly, the very idea of messing with the original formula was stupid.
By the way, did you folks know that none other than the great Ty Cobb invested heavily in Coca-Cola (he died a wealthy, yet hated, man)? Ty must have been rolling in his grave when New Coke arrived on the scene.
Anyway, the predictable backlash against that awful New Coke was so substantial that Coca-Cola announced it was bringing back the original formula as Coca-Cola Classic. The difference, of course, was that cane syrup sweetener was replaced with the cheaper corn syrup.
The conspiracy nuts will tell you that Coca-Cola planned to do that all along -- release a product that was so bad that Coke fans would be thrilled to get their "classic" cola back, even if it was flavored with corn syrup. The plan worked, of course, as the sales of Coca-Cola go through the roof annually, the company saves money with the cheaper sweetener and most people are just happy that the original formula was put back on the market.
See? That plan -- if true -- is both evil and brilliant. Coca-Cola officials have denied that was their intention for the past couple of decades, but it's amazing how well that tactic worked. It's all just a little too convenient, huh? Coca-Cola, with that little stunt, became just like the rest of those major soft drink manufacturers -- everyone uses corn syrup these days and that's a shame.
I've missed the real Coca-Cola for years as the new stuff is just sweeter and just doesn't sting the back of my throat like the original did. You can still find the original formula in bottles of Coke bottled in places like Mexico and I've picked up a few of those great things at Mexican grocery stores and restaurants.
The Jones Pure Cane Cola isn't exactly like the original Coca-Cola, but it's close enough to be pretty good. No, I wasn't paid a dime to crow about this product -- I've just become a fan and I hope Jones does well enough to convince Coca-Cola and other major soft drink manufacturers that going back to using cane sugar is a great idea. Give 'em hell, Jones!