Coca-Cola might be among the most recognized brands in the world, but that doesn't mean every idea they launch is a success. Coke has just announced that they're backing out of a category they tried breaking into last year, as executives say low sales make this product cut prudent.
CNN reported Saturday that Coca-Cola will no longer be distributing Coke Energy in North America. Given growing consumer interest in energy drinks, Coca-Cola had ventured into the realm with its January 2020 launch of the drink in this part of the world… however, the market quickly shifted with the pandemic, and reports suggest the brand wants to recalibrate what they concentrate on.
Commenting on the announcement that they will no longer produce Coke Energy, Coca-Cola said: "An important component to this strategy is the consistent and constant evaluation of what's performing and what's not … As we scale our best innovations quickly and effectively, like AHA and Coca-Cola with Coffee, we need to be disciplined with those that don't get the traction required for further investment."
Meanwhile, in January of 2020—just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S., Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey had said in an earnings call: "We're putting the full marketing muscle behind our Coke Energy launch in the US." They also spent boucou bucks advertising the energy drink during last year's Super Bowl as they billed Coke Energy as "It's the energy you want and the taste you love."
Coke Energy had launched into international markets in 2019, but the brand says they will continue to distribute the drink into those territories.
Meanwhile, when we evaluate what this means from a health standpoint, the North American farewell to Coke Energy is probably not a huge heartbreak. With Coke Energy's ingredients, Coke had made an honest effort to make the energy drink fit into the "functional beverages" box that has grown so popular in the past few years. Ingredients included guarana extracts, B-vitamins, and about four times the caffeine of regular Coke when comparing both in 12-ounce servings.
But with 26 grams of carbs—all as sugar—and ingredients that created a taste some online buyers have described as "unusual" and "chemically," we don't think this is a Coke product most people will miss.
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