The new drink, Pepsi Cafe, will come in two flavors: original and vanilla. The coffee-infused cola beverage has nearly twice as much caffeine as regular Pepsi. Twelve-ounce cans of Pepsi Cafe will arrive at U.S. stores in April, but will be available only for a limited time.
“We want to be first to market, and launch this really in the right way,” said Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s vice president of marketing.
The reintroduction of coffee-cola drinks comes as U.S. soda consumption continues to decline annually. But Pepsi and Coke are betting that consumers would still like an afternoon pick-me-up that combines the taste and carbonation of soda with coffee flavors.
The two beverage giants have tried coffee-cola drinks before. Pepsi introduced the short-lived Pepsi Kona in 1996. In 2004, Pepsi tried another variant internationally called the Pepsiccino, a creamier version meant to taste more like cappuccino. Both iterations inspired the taste of Pepsi Cafe, which took more than a year and half to develop.
“We leveraged both of those learnings and then went to the consumer groups and said, ‘OK, what is the right space?’ And it’s somewhere right in the