In the 1970s, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups' slogan was "Two great tastes that taste great together." With its new Coffee product, Coke should take inspiration from that and tag it something like "Two great tastes that no one asked us to put together."
Just joking, of course. We haven't tried this product, but its existence—to Americans, at least—is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Turns out Coke with Coffee isn't all that new, as the 2019 Czech commercial above demonstrates.
According to Food & Wine, the drink was first released in Japan in 2018. So it made its way around the world in more than two years. More from Food & Wine:
...Coca-Cola with Coffee is finally arriving in the United States, remarkably making us the 50th market to get the combo (though as Coca-Cola explains, different countries get different versions to "meet local tastes").
The new U.S. version is billed as a beverage that "sips like a Coke and finishes like a coffee"—and just like a trip to Starbucks, Coca-Cola with Coffee is offered in multiple varieties.
Those varieties include the basic Coca-Cola with Coffee Dark Blend and depend partly upon the demographics of the area where the product is sold. Other flavors likely to hit a store shelf in the US soon include Coca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar and vanilla.
Soda combined with coffee isn't a new idea but it hasn't worked out in the past. As Food & Wine notes, "In 1996, Pepsi Kona was trialed unsuccessfully, with even Pepsi calling the short-lived coffee-cola hybrid "ahead of its time."
With 69mg of caffeine per can, Coke With Coffee might be a middle ground for the soft drink giant between its mildly caffeinated legacy product and newer experiments like its buzzy high-caffeine Coke Energy drink.
Food & Wine quoted Brand director for Coca-Cola Trademark Brandan Strickland, who said, "While other categories, including energy drinks, have ventured into zero-sugar territory, ready-to-drink coffee hasn't because many offerings are dairy-based. So we see this as a major whitespace opportunity."
Coke With Coffee officially hits store shelves in the soda aisle this month, January 2021.