Can You Still Buy SURGE Soda Today?

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Did a surge of low-grade juvenile delinquency seal the fate of SURGE, the short-lived Coca-Cola product that the soda giant marketed for a time against Pepsi's still-popular Mountain Dew? Well, maybe, according to Soda Pop Craft. But it's just as likely, Soda Pop Craft suggests, that low sales doomed the citrus-flavored soda. Developed by Coca-Cola under the nickname "MDK," signifying an optimistic view that SURGE would become the "Mountain Dew Killer," SURGE, like Mountain Dew, was noted for its high caffeine and sugar content. SURGE had 35 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving, compared to Mountain Dew's 37 milligrams of caffeine. In terms of sugar, SURGE had 56 grams per 16-ounce serving, while Mountain Dew has 61 grams in the same-size serving.

But despite Mountain Dew's higher sugar and caffeine numbers, it was SURGE, according to Soda Pop Craft, that attracted the attention of school officials amid "sporadic reports ... asserting that some students became wired after drinking Surge." Those reports prompted some schools to ban the soda, due in at least one case to "students becoming more active, talking more, and misbehaving," according to Soda Pop Craft. SURGE was, in fact, marketed as something of an outlaw youth brand, as shown in a YouTube compilation of commercials. SURGE was discontinued in 2003, but fans of the drink mounted a Facebook campaign that got the high-powered soda available from Amazon, as well as some independent sellers and vending locations.

Good luck finding SURGE today

Today, though, SURGE has all but disappeared, if not vanished. It did, however, reappear in fountain-drink form for a while beginning in 2018. In August of that year, Burger King announced a partnership with Coca-Cola that put SURGE in the fast-food restaurant's Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. One of the places Burger King announced the partnership was Twitter, where the message "SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURGE" heralded the soda's return. But by 2022, the Coca-Cola Freestyle listing of sodas then available in its drink-dispensing machine notably didn't include SURGE among a dizzying array of 34 choices. There have been some other hints of SURGE being available in the recent past, like this two-year-old Reddit post asserting that it had been available at Dollar Tree.

For anyone still hoping to track down the high-powered soda, a SURGE website still exists, but it carries some real disappointment. The website, with a 2023 Coca-Cola Company copyright, prominently features a message that "Surge will be leaving store shelves soon, so you may experience limited availability." From there, the website has a shopping guide directing visitors to Walmart, Amazon, or Instacart for the possibility of finding SURGE. But a quick check revealed Walmart and Amazon have SURGE listed as out of stock. In fact, all that remains of SURGE on Amazon is memorabilia, including a T-shirt, a tank top, and a poster. As for Instacart, SURGE was not among the brands shown as available in a random check of locations.