USA: Coca Cola to target non-alcoholic beer drinkers

Coca Cola is targeting non-alcoholic beer drinkers with their newest innovation BAR NØNE. The product, which is sold in four-packs of brown 12-oz. bottles resemble a lot the current draft beers. And the resemblance is not by accident. Coca Cola targets beer drinkers who are designate drivers, trying to stave off a hangover, or simply abstaine from alcohol altogether.

“People are choosing not to drink for many different reasons,” said Sabrina Tandon, Innovation Director, VEB at The Coca-Cola Company who also acts as BAR NØNE general manager. “We’re not targeting a certain demographic… we’re targeting a mindset.”

The product was developed by Coca-Cola’s Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) unit in only 10 months, exemplifying an entrepreneurial, test-and-learn culture taking shape at Coke. Agile teams like Tandon’s are empowered to take risks, iterate and move quickly.

BAR NØNE made its debut in October at Taste of Atlanta, where nearly 3,000 festivalgoers sipped on the four varieties Spiced Ginger Mule, Bellini Spritz, Dry Aged Cider and Sangria. The bar-inspired flavors and premium, on-trend ingredients were chosen to appeal to beer, wine and cocktail drinkers. The bottled drinks – which contain between 70 and 130 calories – are sweetened with unique juice blends or cane sugar.

After the initial test BAR NØNE is now available in select package stores, bottle shops, restaurants and specialty markets in Coke’s hometown of Atlanta, and online at www.drinkbarnone.com. A four-pack sells in retail for US$7.99.

Tandon is aware of the fact that the product might fail but she is optimistic about its future. “This is a new category we’re helping to create. We’re a first mover in this space, which we think has a lot of potential. Our initial focus is on learning… we’re hoping that launching first in our backyard will be a recipe for entrepreneurial success.”

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