“Coca-Cola (KO) With Coffee” will combine regular Coke with Brazilian coffee. Three different flavors— Dark Blend, Vanilla and Caramel —will be offered in 12-ounce. cans, and the drink contains 69 milligrams of caffeine per can. A 12-ounce can of regular Coke has 34 milligrams of caffeine; Diet Coke has 46 milligrams.
The launch comes at a time when consumer tastes are changing. Sugar-conscious customers are turning to water, seltzer and beverages that offer a nutritional or energy boost. Coke said in a press release that consumers are “more open to trying new category-crossing drinks.” Sparkling juices or juice-tea blends are other examples of the trend.
Coke isn’t the only company combining coffee and soda. Competitor PepsiCo (PEP) also launched a new coffee-infused cola last year. Pepsi Café, which also comes in a vanilla flavor, hit shelves throughout the United States in April for a limited time. It’s nearly twice as caffeinated as a regular soda.
Coke has ventured into soda with coffee before.
In 2006, Coca-Cola (COKE) launched Coca-Cola Blak, a coffee-flavored version of its signature product. People didn’t like it, and the beverage flopped. Coke stopped selling the product in 2008, just two years after it launched.
Bad timing caused the failure, Nancy Quan, the company’s chief technical officer, told CNN Business last year.
“That was a trend before its time,” Quan said. “I don’t think people were ready to have a coffee portfolio within the Coca-Cola brand.”
Over the past few years, Coke has been releasing a similar product called “Coca-Cola Plus Coffee” or “Coca-Cola With Coffee” in international markets. The new product contains more real coffee than Blak did. There’s also an additional caffeine jolt: The product is more caffeinated than regular Coke.