Coca-Cola Plus Coffee has been developed by the global brand’s Atlanta-based research facility at its headquarters in the state’s capital of Georgia.
The new variant was created to tap into markets with high levels of coffee consumption, but where the appetite for sparkling soft drinks was not strong.
At an exclusive, and world first, press tour of Coke’s research facilities, Coca-Cola senior global director and brand lead on trademark for the business Arnab Roy said, as part of the company’s total beverage solutions focus, product launches such as Coca-Cola Plus Coffee could become more prevalent.
Building Coke as a brand
“Focusing on occasions and building on rituals will be key to building Coke [as a brand],” he said at the business’s research facility the KO Lab this week.
“[Coca-Cola] Classic will always be our biggest [brand], but we feel evolution has to happen in Coke. There’s a lot more flexibility with what we can and can’t do with the brand now.”
According to Roy, until recently, it was difficult to extend the brand beyond certain confinements and launching new products was difficult.
However, there was a lot of innovation within the main Coca-Cola brand as part of the company’s strategy to further strengthen it and to champion it as the leading brand in total beverage solutions.
Coca-Cola Plus Coffee, meanwhile, is not a flavoured cola drink, but one with added coffee and caffeine, targeted at the Vietnam market where coffee is the most popular non-alcoholic drink.
Vietnam and Pakistan
Both Vietnam and Pakistan are markets the business is interested in because both have significant soft drinks growth potential, Roy explained.
“We’ve launched [Plus Coffee] in eight to nine markets last year and the response has been phenomenal and, by next year, we hope to be in 50 countries,” continued Roy. “It has launched in Spain and we’re in talks with the UK team.
“Historically, our learnings say that flavours are kind of in and out, but don’t help the brand to grow in a sustainable way.
“What we’re doing right now with [Plus Coffee] is creating a new concept,” he said. “With Plus Coffee there was a chance of just adding flavour to [Coke Classic] or bringing out a new drink with new credentials – so we chose to do the latter.”