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Coca-Cola takes on US energy drinks market

By Charlotte Ricca

New caffeine and guarana drink will compete with Red Bull

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola is launching Coca-Cola Energy, into the United States. Original, Coca-Cola Energy Cherry and zero-calorie options will be available nationwide from January 2020.

The product is already available in 25 countries including Britain, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden, France, Belgium, Romania, Hungary and Australia. It contains caffeine from naturally-derived sources, guarana extracts, B vitamins, and is taurine-free.

According to innovation brand director Janki Gambhir, the brand’s rollout supports Coke’s ongoing efforts to “deliver more beverage options that meet changing preferences”. Energy drinks are one of the fastest-growing NARTD (Non-alcoholic Ready to Drink) beverages in the US, with sales growing around five per cent per year.

“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,” said Gambir.

“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 Coca-Cola fans love the taste of Coke and, with Coca-Cola Energy, we found there was an opportunity to extend Coca-Cola to a category many people haven’t tried.”

The company is also developing other new products. Coca-Cola Cinnamon will launch this autumn as a limited-edition flavour for the Christmas period, and Coca-Cola Cherry Vanilla and Coca-Cola Cherry Vanilla Zero will hit the market next year.

These new drinks follow the successful rollout of Coca-Cola Orange Vanilla and Coca-Cola Orange Vanilla Zero, Coke’s first new flavour in over a decade.

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