Why Surge Was Discontinued (And Where To Find It In 2024)

cans of surge
cans of surge - shadowmannumber9 / Instagram

Nostalgia for the '90s is widespread these days, which means people often pine for the food and drinks that exemplified the decade. On the beverage front, certain drinks practically scream the '90s in flavor and appearance. Take the swiftly discontinued Orbitz drink, best known for its gummy floating globs and unappealing viscous consistency. Then there's Surge, a blindingly green caffeinated soda that Coca-Cola designed as a competitor for Pepsi's wildly popular Mountain Dew. Surge made its auspicious debut in 1997 but only lasted six short years. Despite the apparent buzz surrounding the beverage, the drink failed to deliver the sales revenue that Coca-Cola anticipated, which led to its cessation.

While Surge's big selling point was its high caffeine content, the beverage actually contained less than its rival Mountain Dew, albeit only slightly. A 12-ounce bottle of Surge contained 51 milligrams of caffeine, while the same amount of Mountain Dew contained 55 milligrams. Surge also included maltodextrin, a food additive known for providing a speedy burst of energy thanks to how fast it's digested. While the drink didn't have much staying power, it did capture the attention of extreme beverage devotees.

Read more: 11 Discontinued Chocolates We Miss The Most

The Not-So-Triumphant Comeback Of Surge

person holding can of surge
person holding can of surge - ilavayoutv/Instagram

While insufficient sales played a considerable role in the discontinuation of Surge, it wasn't the only factor. Coca-Cola shifted its marketing demographics to an older crowd, which left Surge on the chopping block. However, that wasn't the end of the Surge saga. Over a decade after Surge was discontinued, fan outcry prompted Coca-Cola to re-release the product.

In 2011, The Surge Movement was formed to urge the cola company to bring back its bright-colored beverage. Over the next few years, The Surge Movement erected billboards, created videos, and launched an outreach campaign that involved repeatedly contacting Coca-Cola and demanding a return of the drink. Coca-Cola eventually gave in to the demands of the insurgency and made the drink available on Amazon in 2014. It's unclear how long the second coming of Surge lasted, but the drink is now woefully absent from store shelves.

Keep in mind that society is fully entrenched in the energy drink era. That means Surge's paltry 51 milligrams per serving pales in comparison to something like Red Bull, which packs 80 milligrams of caffeine into one serving. Also, consider that the brand offers various flavors, including Red Bull juneberry, whereas Surge was only available in citrus. While it's no longer manufactured, Surge is not entirely absent from the world. However, a can will cost much more than it did in the '90s.

The High Price Of Vintage Surge

person holding can of surge
person holding can of surge - nicholemarie333/Instagram

If you can't find a beloved food in stores, eBay might have what you're looking for. While the platform can sometimes come under fire, as it did when users were selling Girl Scout cookies, some impressive finds are lurking on the site. For instance, unopened cans of Surge can be found on the website, but prices aren't for the faint of heart (or light of wallet). At the high end, a single unopened can of Surge can be yours for just $249.99. If you want a real bargain, a user listed two unopened cans for just $70.

Let's imagine that you are the type of person willing and able to spend this much money on a can of discontinued '90s soda. Could you safely sample the Surge and be transported back to a more extreme era? The answer to this question is: maybe? The USDA says that canned soda is safe beyond its expiration date and that carbonated beverages are not perishable. However, there is likely to be a decline in quality, and it's recommended that unopened cans be enjoyed within nine months of the expiration date. That means vintage cans of the extreme beverage are likely to leave soda lovers disappointed.

Read the original article on Daily Meal