The subject of this article:

  • exists in the Forrest Gump novel canon (including Gump & Co.)
  • is not mentioned in the Forrest Gump film canon
  • exists in real life (see Wikipedia article: New Coke)

New Coke was a 1985 fiasco in which The Coca-Cola Company, based in Atlanta, Georgia, introduced a new formulation of their flagship product that was universally detested by consumers. This event is satirized in the Gump & Co. novel, with some creative liberties (such as the name of the company being instead the "CokeCola Company".[1])

In Gump & Co.[edit | edit source]

Alfred Hopewell, Vice President of the "CokeCola" company, has created a pre-release formulation of New Coke. Everyone in the "CokeCola" company, including Alfred and his wife Alice, describe the taste of this pre-release New Coke as awful, and say that almost nobody can drink it without gagging.

"Well, actually it didn't taste exactly like shit, whatever shit tastes like. It tasted more like a combination of turpentine and bacon grease, with a little sugar an fizzy-water throwed in."Forrest Gump[2]

Forrest Gump is similarly disgusted by the drink, and sets about in Alice Hopewell's kitchen, clumsily adding "twenty or thirty" kitchen goods to it to improve the taste - and he does. His resulting formulation amazes Alfred Hopewell, who compels Forrest to come to Atlanta when Forrest cannot immediately reproduce his improved drink. While in Atlanta, he eventually succeeds in recreating the drink, which is prepared for production.

New Coke reveal[edit | edit source]

This reformulated version of Coke was revealed at a grand event at the CokeCola Company headquarters in Atlanta.

In real life, the actual reveal of New Coke took place on April 23, 1985, at New York City's Lincoln Center. Forrest Gump is invited to speak: he narrowly avoids saying yet again "I got to pee". When the new drink is distributed to consumers, they all hate it, and a violent riot ensues, forcing Forrest to flee the city.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. One might initially assume "CokeCola" is just another one of Forrest's colloquializations, but that name is used in a representation of a page of the Atlanta Constitution:
    Groom, Winston. Gump & Co. New York, NY: Pocket Books, 1995. Page 51. Print.
  2. Groom, Winston. Gump & Co. New York, NY: Pocket Books, 1995. Page 33. Print.
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