by Matt Weik
I may be one of the few people out there who really like the Coke energy drinks – especially the sugar-free variety. I liked the standard sugar-free cola flavor along with the cherry they put on the market. However, after speaking to others in the industry, they thought they were drinking dog piss.
It’s not often that energy drinks disappear from shelves, especially from large companies. However, Coca-Cola did a terrible job (in my opinion) with the introduction of Coke Energy drinks in the United States. And when I say horrible, I mean that they completely shit themselves in bed and thrown themselves off the beaten track before they could even be competitive. What am I talking about exactly? Well, let’s talk a couple of things.
You can’t screw up the cola energy flavors
This is a big one. I mean come on MAN! In this day and age there is no excuse why you aren’t making drinks that taste amazing. If you test it on 100 people and the majority say the taste is not there, DO NOT START IT!
Maybe other countries have different tastes than the US, but it seems like the United States is the only country it started in that wasn’t going well (hey Coca-Cola, go ahead and send me the rest you in inventory, I’ll drink it).
Well, even though I liked the taste, it had a distinct flavor that I can see some people put off. It even had an aftertaste that I can understand that a lot of people don’t like. Obviously, being in the dietary supplement industry, I’ve had a lot of products that had the taste of dog poop and an aftertaste similar to that of a poisonous viper.
You lost your main athlete
Coca-Cola … you screwed up losing Lebron James. See what happened. PepsiCo launched Lebron and has it as the face of their new energy drink called Mtn Dew Rise Energy. They even have commercials promoting the drink.
I haven’t seen Coke Energy have one or more athletes pushing their new energy drink. Hell, I didn’t even see them run any marketing campaigns related to the product or launch (which I’ll discuss in a moment).
You needed a big name to stand behind this product and you failed miserably. Didn’t you want to spend the money or did the people who asked you not like the taste?
You have excluded yourself from the market
I’m not sure who signed the Coke Energy award, but they should be fired. You have given yourself up straight from the market. Coke Energy is one of the most expensive energy drinks on the market per ounce.
You can’t sell a 12-pack of 12oz energy drinks for $ 34.99 (that’s the price on Amazon at the time of this writing). Especially when you let Reign sell for $ 18.98 on Amazon and Bang for $ 23.76 on Amazon. You have two of the hottest energy drinks on the market right now, selling for a lot less than Coke Energy, and you think you’re going to steal market share? You can’t be that stupid, can you? And we didn’t even include Monster and Rockstar (which PepsiCo just bought) into the equation.
Why would anyone buy or switch from another energy drink to Coke Energy when the cost is significantly higher than what they or other big players in the market are drinking? Do you think you can get top bucks for being Coca-Cola? If so, how did that work for you?
Did you do any marketing at all?
I haven’t seen a single piece of marketing related to Coke Energy. No ads, nothing online, no big celebrities or athletes talking about it, nothing! Maybe I missed it, but I would have thought I saw it somewhere, but I didn’t.
When it first launched, I noticed that some gas stations like Sheetz had it on sale for something like $ 2 for $ 4 or 2 for $ 5 (can’t remember which ones). Anyway, it was still too expensive even if it was on the promo for what you get. The value just wasn’t there at Coke Energy.
Maybe Monster had their way into the decision to kill Coke Energy?
Coca-Cola has a controlling interest in Monster Beverage Corp, and of course Monster was NOT happy when they heard the announcement that Coca-Cola would launch its own energy drink. There’s nothing like kicking a brand you want to grow right in the nut sack.
Monster is a big player in the industry, and it is a silly idea to potentially lose its market share. Especially when Monster is already on par with brands like Rockstar, Reign, Bang and C4. So many new players have come out that are growing fast that I’m not sure why Coca-Cola would want to build a wall between itself and Monster when it tries to own the cooler and shelf space?
Coke with coffee next?
I hate when energy drinks and coffee beverages are disappearing, but I just don’t think Coca-Cola has any control over anything other than their bread and butter, namely soda / pop drinks and sparkling water. Haven’t got my hands on a cola with coffee (no sugar) yet, but from what my friends in the industry have told me, I’m not missing a thing. This leads me to believe that Cola with coffee might be next on the chopping block, even though Coca-Cola says they will work hard with the drink.
What do you think? Did you like Coke Energy? What do you think of the cola with coffee? Were you surprised that Coca-Cola didn’t make it? Let us know in the comments below.