Anyone who is a regular shopper at Wegmans and a connoisseur of fine carbonated beverages must be aware of Wegmans “Code W.” Or, rather, what was, until recently “Code W.” See, anyone who’s been to Wegmans since coming back to school will have noticed that that “Code W” was replaced with “W Red.”
This sparked my curiosity. I thought to myself, apart from the fact that “Code W” is clearly a better name, it seemed odd to change the name. I figured there must have been a reason.
I submitted my question on the Wegmans Web site via their customer relations Web submission box, and I called and left a voice mail on the customer relations phone number.
Interestingly, I got two different responses. The voice message I received from Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natalie explained that the name change was to keep the soda’s naming convention the same as their standard soda names – “W-Up,” “W-Cola,” “Wedge” and the like.
However, the e-mail I received said something quite different. The e-mail was from Kathleen Cervini of Wegmans Brand Consumer Affairs. She informed me that the reason the soda was changed was to avoid legal similarities with Pepsi’s product, “Mountain Dew: Code Red.”
Both explanations are slightly confusing. On the one hand, their naming convention isn’t that hard and fast – for instance, they sell “Mountain W” and “Dr. W,” so clearly, not all of their sodas put the “W” first.
Contrariwise, “Mountain W” is much closer to the name of Mountain Dew than “Code W” is to the name of “Mountain Dew: Code Red.” In fact, the first name is only different by two letters. “D” and “E.” The second name is off by about two and a half words.
Regardless of the reason, as a result, we now get to enjoy “W Red” instead of delicious “Code W.”