Not Sure Whether to be Excited or Afraid

Coming Soon: Coca-Cola Blak

Coca-Cola Co. , the world's No. 1 soft drink company, on Wednesday said it will launch a coffee-infused soft drink called Coca-Cola Blak in various markets around the world in 2006.

The news of the launch came hours before Coke Chief Executive Neville Isdell was scheduled to address financial analysts and investors in New York.

The new drink, a combination of Coca-Cola Classic and coffee extracts, will be first launched in France in January before being rolled out in the United States and other markets during 2006.


A Coke spokesperson said Coca-Cola Blak will be a mid-calorie drink, similar to Coca-Cola C2, which was launched in April 2004 and contains half the sugar, calories and carbohydrates of regular colas. The formula for the new beverage is expected to vary based on local tastes.

Analysts have said one of the keys to the company's future is capturing more consumers who have moved away from sugary soft drinks to diet versions, or to healthier low- or no-calorie beverages.

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