Coca-Cola Blak Fades to Black

Maker pulling plug on cola, coffee blend

ATLANTA -- The Coca Cola Co. is discontinuing U.S. sales of Coca-Cola Blak, the blended Coca-Cola and coffee drink it introduced 17 months ago in 8-oz. bottles wrapped in mocha-brown plastic, the company confirmed late last week, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The news was first reported in Beverage Digest.

Coca-Cola spokesperson Scott Williamson told the newspaper that the company's bottlers will continue making and selling Coca-Cola Blak until concentrate supplies run out. He said he did not know how long that will take.

Sales are expected to continue in France and other countries overseas, said the report. The drink also is available in Canada.

Coca-Cola 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 would not say why the niche beverage did not catch on, the report said. 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 company marketing executive last year as the over-30 "savvy, sophisticated achiever."

Or maybe it was the taste, the paper speculated. "It is not for everyone," Coca-Cola marketing executive Katie Bayne told the Journal-Constitution when the drink launched in April 2006. "It is an adult Cola taste."

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