Pepsi Launches Coffee-Flavored Soda Packing Twice the Caffeine

If drinking plain old coffee is just too boring for your morning routine, Pepsi has the new product just for you. On Thursday, PepsiCo announced Pepsi Cafe, a new soda drink with coffee that has twice the caffeine in regular Pepsi. The drink will be available in Original and Vanilla flavors, and will be in stores by April 2020.

The drinks feature "just the right touch of roasted Arabica coffee" to give Pepsi cola a different flavor. They will be packaged in tall, thin 12 oz. cans that are perfect to grab and go.

"We know that the consumers today are looking for products that meet the needs of energy, indulgence, and refreshment during that afternoon pick-me-up occasion," Todd Kaplan, VP of Pepsi marketing, said in a statement. "At Pepsi, we've known the potential of blending cola and coffee for years and after striking the perfect balance, we cannot wait to introduce Pepsi Café to the US next year."

"We are confident that cola fans, iced coffee drinkers and anyone in need of an extra caffeine boost will love the unexpected flavor medley of roasted coffee infused into the refreshing, crisp flavor of Pepsi," Kaplan added.

In its press release Thursday, Pepsi noted that they tried this before, back in 1996 with the Pepsi Kona. That drink was only available for a very limited time in 1996 and 1997, after it failed to catch on during the test marketing phase in Philadelphia. Pepsi is clearly hoping for a better result this time.

Pepsi boasted that Pepsi Cafe Original will be perfect for those wondering how they can get their coffee fix and soda flavors at the same time. Pepsi Cafe Vanilla is described as a "sweeter and creamier beverage" that brings vanilla flavor into the mix.

While Pepsi may have tired a coffee-soda mix back in 1996, it is not the first company to announce an attempt in 2019. In April, Coca-Cola announced plans to test Coca-Cola Coffee in 25 international markets by the end of the year. There are no immediate plans to make it available in the U.S.

"Coke Coffee was designed to reach consumers during specific occasions and channels like the mid-afternoon energy slump at work," Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said in April, CNBC reports.

The new drink has more caffeine than a regular can of Coke, but less than an average cup of coffee.

Like Pepsi, Coca-Cola has tried to succeed in the coffee sphere, but with mixed results. One success is its Georgia Coffee brand, which reached $1 billion in sales in Japan and has spread to other Asian countries.

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However, Coca-Cola had several other failures, like Coca-Cola Blak, which was available from 2006 to 2008. In 2017, Coke tried Coca-Cola Plus Coffee in Australia, and have been reworking the formula to get the drink to smell more like coffee.
Before Coca-Cola tries to sell a coffee drink in its native country, the company is working on Europe. It bought the British coffee chain Costa and launched ready-to-drink products in Europe this year.

Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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