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Coca-Cola Bets Big on Coffee

Soda consumption is down, but ready-to-drink coffee is hot

A glass of iced coffee with cream and a striped straw Abi Porter/Flickr

As soda’s popularity in the U.S. declines, beverage giant Coca-Cola is betting its chips on another drink: coffee. Late last week the company’s Gold Peak brand, known for iced tea, announced it will launch ready-to-drink coffee in early 2017.

Per a press release, the bottled drinks "will feature real milk and sugar in an array of tasty flavors"; the new line will also include tea lattes.

As Business Insider writes, it’s "a move that might be key to the company's future" as Coca-Cola looks to branch out amid slumping soda sales. Analysts say that coffee’s rising popularity is at least partially responsible for soda’s decline: "Twenty years ago, people used to wake up with a Diet Coke or a Diet Pepsi," an RBC analyst pointed out at a recent beverage industry conference.

Ready-to-drink coffee is already a $2 billion industry, and fans have a plethora of pre-made options to choose from: Industry behemoth Starbucks has hawked bottled Frappuccinos and canned Doubleshot espresso drinks for more than a decade and also launched a bottled version of its popular cold-brew earlier this summer, just to name one major competitor. But the packaged coffee drink sector is expected to see major continued growth over the next several years, and Coca-Cola is clearly hoping to snatch some of that valuable market share as more people are picking coffee over Coke.

Coca-Cola’s Future Isn’t About Soda Anymore [Business Insider]
Are Dunkin’ Donuts Customers Ready for Cold-Brew Coffee? [E]
All Coffee Coverage [E]