Discontinued: Coca-Cola BlaK


When we reviewed Coca-Cola BlaK in April 2006, we noted the following:

In the mid 1990s, the big craze for soft drink companies was to combine their beverages with coffee. Thus we saw a ton of products with this odd combination: Pepsi Kona, Pepsi Cappuccino, Java Cola, Café Cola, and others (mostly in isolated test markets). The initiative failed miserably. Apparently, Coke never got the memo.

Coca-Cola BlaK

Well, it took a little over a year, but it appears that Coca-Cola finally figured out what everyone else already knew… cola/coffee drinks don’t work. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Coke is pulling the plug on Coca-Cola BlaK here in the States.

Coke has discontinued U.S. sales of the blended Coca-Cola and coffee concoction it introduced 17 months ago in 8-ounce bottles wrapped in mocha-brown plastic, the company confirmed Thursday.

Coca-Cola spokesman Scott Williamson said the company’s bottlers will continue making and selling Coca-Cola Blak until concentrate supplies run out. He said he didn’t know how long that will take.

Sales are expected to continue in France and other counties overseas. The drink also is available in Canada.

Coke spent two years developing Coca-Cola Blak in hopes of making inroads into consumers’ growing taste for coffee and a booming premium beverage market.

The company didn’t announce the move; it was first reported in a trade newsletter, Beverage Digest.

Why the niche beverage didn’t catch on, Coke won’t say for sure.

But Coca-Cola Blak, which has sold for as much as $1.99 a bottle, may have been too pricey for its target consumer, described by a Coke marketing executive last year as the over-30 “savvy, sophisticated achiever.”

Or maybe it was the taste.

“It is not for everyone,” Coke marketing executive Katie Bayne told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution when the drink launched in April 2006. “It is an adult Cola taste.”

You just hate to say “we told you so,” but I think that’s pretty obvious here.