Coca-Cola hopes to bring new fans into the energy drink category next year with the U.S. launch of
Coca-Cola North America unveiled the first-ever energy drink under the Coke brand alongside several other beverage innovations this week at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) expo in Atlanta. Convenience retail is the primary channel for the immediate consumption (IC)-driven energy drink category, making the tradeshow a logical launching pad for the new beverage.
The rollout supports Coke’s ongoing efforts to deliver more beverage options that meet changing preferences, lifestyles and tastes. It’s also an example of the company’s commitment to move quickly, take intelligent risks to bring more drinks to the shelf, and “lift and shift” innovations around the world.
Coca-Cola Energy continues the Coke brand’s recent track record of innovation in the U.S. and is one of several new extensions in the pipeline.
We spoke with Janki Gambhir,
Why is the Coke brand getting into energy drinks for the first time in the U.S.?
As a total beverage company, we’re constantly looking for ways to evolve our portfolio and bring people the drinks they want – in a range of categories and package options.
We saw an opportunity to meet an unmet need in the category. While energy drinks are one of the fastest-growing NARTD beverage categories in the U.S. – with sales growing around 5% annually – household penetration has slowed.
Why is that?
Research shows that people are open to trying energy drinks, but are hesitant to give these products a try because of unfamiliar brands touting unfamiliar ingredients.
Taste is a strong driver when people are deciding what beverages to enjoy, especially in a market where there are so many options. We know
Why do you think people are looking for more caffeine today?
People are busier than ever. They don’t just work from 9 to 5 and call it a day. Their lives are full, and they’re doing so many more things after “work.” Coke Energy offers great-tasting energy to do the things they need to do, but also the things they want to do.
And two zero-calorie options should extend the appeal of
Coca-Cola Energy to even more people.
Indeed. The energy category is still led by full-calorie options (approximately 80%), but we’re seeing zero-calorie options are driving a lot of the growth. We’re confident that our zero-calorie options – and our inclusive brand – will appeal to an even broader audience. We will bring Coke Energy to market differently than people are used to seeing from
Why was cherry chosen as a flavor extension for
Coca-Cola Energy? It’s not offered in Europe.
Americans love Cherry Coke! The brand has a cult-like following here. Since our ambition is to bring Coke drinkers into the energy category, what better way to do so than with an extended
What does the success of Coke Orange Vanilla say about the innovation potential of the brand, and how are these learnings informing the Coke Energy launch?
It shows the potential of the