Northern Neck Ginger Ale, a regional soda that’s been produced in Virginia for almost a century, is among a dozen so-called “zombie brands” that Coca-Cola is permanently dropping.
Tab cola is probably the most recognized brand Coke is eliminating, its first diet cola that was introduced in 1963. Those being eliminated, including Northern Neck Ginger Ale, account for an insignificant amount of Coca-Cola’s overall sales.
Other brands getting the ax are Odwalla, Zico coconut water, Coca-Cola Life, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry and Delaware Punch, a non-soda caffeine-free drink named after the grape variety used, not the state of Delaware.
Coca-Cola called the brand purge a global portfolio refresh, prioritizing category-leading brands with the greatest potential for growth and scale.
“It’s about continuing to follow the consumer and being very intentional in deciding which of our brands are most deserving of our investments and resources, and also taking the tough but important steps to identify those products that are losing relevance and therefore should exit the portfolio,” said Cath Coetzer, head of marketing for The Coca-Cola Company.
All beverages being discontinued will cease production by the end of 2020.
Northern Neck Ginger Ale was created in 1926 in Montross, in Westmoreland County in Virginia’s Northern Neck. According to the Northern Neck Historical Society, Arthur Carver opened the Northern Neck Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in the 1920s, when ginger ale was gaining popularity.
It had been produced more recently at the Mid-Atlantic Consolidated Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Sandston, Virginia, though production was halted this summer because of a shortage of aluminum for soda can production.
A Change.org petition posted Oct. 16 currently has more than 8,500 signatures urging Coca-Cola to save Northern Neck Ginger Ale.