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Pepsi Kona
A Pepsi Kona Can.gif
A Pepsi Kona Can.
Flavor: Cola with coffee flavor
Color: Brown      
Current Status: Discontinued
Locations Available: The city of Philadelphia.
Year(s) Available: May 1996 - 1997
Related Flavors: Pepsi A.M., Pepsi Cappuccino
Related Promotions: N/A

Pepsi Kona was a Pepsi flavor that was test-marketed in May 1996 and until 1997 only in the city of Philadelphia. A soft drink meant to be consumed during breakfast, only this time, the idea behind this is to make the drink to taste like coffee. It was test-marketed as another morning drink but failed in the test marketing stage, and in 1997, it was discontinued due to low sales.


Pepsi Kona was test marketed in The city of Philadelphia on May 1996, and until 1997, as coffee flavored Pepsi, but this is the second attempt that Pepsi had attempted for a morning drink.

Technical development of Pepsi Kona went successfully, thanks to PepsiCo’s core competencies in soft drink development and its knowledge of the coffee business gained through its relationship with Starbucks. A coffee-brown label, prominently displaying the Pepsi logo and the Kona name in script, was prepared, and the decision was made to package the product in 20-ounce bottles and 12-ounce cans.

A full-scale promotional assault was readied. Several weeks before the launch, Philadelphia television stations began airing 15-second teaser spots with the themes “Spank Your Senses” and “Grab Life by the Konas.” Once Pepsi Kona was launched, it was on sale virtually everywhere, from the supermarket to the 7-11, to street vendors (who had Pepsi Kona posters prominently displayed on their trucks).

A very entertaining full-length TV commercial was aired, in which singer Tom Jones stood on a table in a crowded cafeteria and belted out “It’s Not Unusual” while sipping Pepsi Kona. Consumers kept their eyes peeled for the “Kona Hummer,” a large vehicle from which samples of Pepsi Kona were distributed.

The Philadelphia test market went poorly. While brewed coffee continued to be popular, the ready-to-drink coffee market (i.e., soft drinks containing coffee) was leveling off and actually declined during the mid-1990s. Some observers commented that the Kona Hummer and the TV spots were rarely seen. Furthermore, many consumers stated that they just didn’t like the flavor combination of Pepsi-Cola and coffee. Pepsi Kona was withdrawn from Philadelphia and never went into national distribution.


  • This is the second attempt of many attempts at a morning drink. See "Related Flavors" in the infobox for more.