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Pepsi Kona
Pepsi Kona Can.jpg
A photograph of the can design of Pepsi Kona.
Description
Flavor: Coffee Cola
Color: Brown      
Details
Current Status: Discontinued
Locations Available: United States
Year(s) Available: 1996
Gallery

Pepsi Kona was a Pepsi cola flavor first test-marketed in east coast regions of the United States in 1996. By 1997, it got discontinued due to low sales, lasting for an entire year of production.

Description[]

Pepsi Kona was a Coffee flavor of Pepsi. There was also a Diet variant.

History[]

In January 1996, PepsiCo first began to test market Pepsi Kona alongside its Diet variant in east coast regions of the United States aimed at coffee drinkers.

The technical development of Pepsi Kona went successfully, thanks to the core competencies of PepsiCo 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 got made to package the product in 20-ounce bottles and 12-ounce cans.

A full-scale promotional assault got readied. Several weeks before the launch, Philadelphia television stations began airing 15-second teaser spots with themes, "Spank Your Senses" and "Grab Life by the Konas." Once Pepsi Kona got released, 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 got aired, to 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 got distributed.

The east coast test market went poorly. While brewed coffee continued to be popular, the ready-to-drink coffee market (i.e., soft drinks containing coffee) got leveling off and declined during the mid-1990s. Some observers commented that the TV spots and the Kona Hummer were rarely spotted. Furthermore, many consumers stated that they don't like the flavor combination of Pepsi-Cola and coffee. Pepsi Kona was withdrawn from east coast regions in 1997 and never went into national distribution.

Trivia[]

  • This is the first attempt of many attempts at a morning drink from PepsiCo. The other many attempts are coffee-based except for Pepsi A.M., these coffee variants, Pepsi Cappuccino and a Pepsi Café line of two flavors, Original and Vanilla. Most of these are American attempts, while Pepsi Cappuccino got attempted in various countries.
    • As for The Coca-Cola Company, there were two attempts. One is Coca-Cola BlāK from the 2000s, and the second is the latest line of many Coca-Cola with Coffee flavors released in early 2021.
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