Coca-Cola North America, Atlanta, is giving consumers the chance to refresh their coffee routine and enjoy an exclusive first sip of the brand’s top innovation of 2021.
Coca-Cola With Coffee — which officially hits ready-to-drink coffee aisles nationwide in January 2021 — fuses the familiar, authentic taste of Coca-Cola with the flavor of 100 percent Brazilian coffee, the company says. Three signature flavors — Dark Blend, Vanilla and Caramel—– will be offered in 12-oounce cans.
“This is a truly unique hybrid innovation that will pioneer a new category we’re calling refreshment coffee,” said Jaideep Kibe, vice president of Coca-Cola Trademark for Coca-Cola North America, in a statement.
“Coca-Cola With Coffee is a product that is meant to be tried,” he added. “Because when you take that first sip, you realize there's nothing quite like it. It sips like a Coke and finishes like a coffee.”
Additionally, members of the company’s Coca-Cola Insiders Club will have the exclusive opportunity to enjoy a Coca-Cola iced coffee innovation ahead of its official launch. The beverage subscription service, which launched in December 2019, gives 2,000 “Insiders” the chance to sign up to receive some of Coke’s newest drinks and surprise swag.
Coca-Cola With Coffee is the latest output of the company’s “lift and shift” strategy to scale successful beverage innovations from market to market via an experimental, test-and-learn approach. The product was first piloted in Japan in 2018 and is now available in more than 30 markets around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Vietnam, Turkey and Italy. Each country, and the United State is no different, tailors the Coca-Cola With Coffee recipe and packaging mix to meet local tastes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for us to be more disciplined in how we launch, validate, refine and scale up big bets like this,” said Javier Meza, chief marketing officer for The Coca-Cola Company’s sparkling beverage portfolio. “We’re excited to bring Coca-Cola With Coffee to the United States and apply learnings from so many markets that have gotten us to where we are today.”
Research shows that consumers are more open to trying new category-crossing drinks like Coca-Cola with Coffee, which contains 69 mg of caffeine in each 12-ounce serving, that push Coca-Cola into uncharted territory while staying true to its core values.
“In preliminary consumer testing, more than 80 percent of consumers who tried Coca-Cola With Coffee said they would buy it,” Kibe said. “And in presentations with several of our major retailers and grocery chains, our customers would take a sip and immediately ask, ‘When can we have this?’”
The launch is the latest creative extension of the Coca-Cola Trademark in the United States, following the recent rollouts of Coke Energy/Coke Energy Cherry, Cherry Vanilla Coke, Orange Vanilla Coke (and their zero-sugar counterparts).
“People’s taste preferences and lifestyles are changing, so we’re evolving our portfolio to meet those needs,” Meza said. “As a total beverage company, we are constantly listening to consumers and looking for ways to innovate and bring people more of the beverages they want.”