Coca-Cola Blak Getting Price Adjustment

Company, consumers gauging product's identity on shelf

NEW YORK -- The Coca-Cola Co. is "very pleased" with the launch of its coffee-flavored cola, Coca-Cola Blak, said John Hackett, senior vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola North America.

The Atlanta-based beverage company is working to adjust the pricing on the product, Hackett said, speaking at a Beverage Digest conference in New York earlier this week, reported Dow Jones.

Blak is being placed on shelves next to ready-to-drink coffees, where profit margins tend to be higher. According to Hackett, the company is attempting to bring in consumers who would [image-nocss] not normally drink carbonated soft drinks.

Morgan Stanley analyst Bill Pecoriello said the brand is still in its early trial phase. Consumers are still deciding whether the product is a cola or a coffee, he said. A survey conducted by Pecoriello shows initial response to Cola-Cola Blak is similar to trends seen for diet cola Coke Zero, which continues to build its sales, but is a relatively smaller brand for Coca-Cola. The survey indicated about one-third of consumers who tried the beverage found it to be too expensive, he said.

Coca-Cola Blak in single-serve bottles sells for between $1.59 and $1.89. Four-packs of the drink sell for between $5.99 and $7.99.