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Coke Plans New Line to Challenge La Croix

Drink will come in 8 flavors, some with caffeine
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2019 2:04 PM CST
Updated Nov 7, 2019 4:04 PM CST
AHA will be Coke's first new beverage brand in more than a decade.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Newser) – Sales of sparkling water are booming, but Coca-Cola's Dasani Sparkling hasn't been popular enough to help the company cash in. So Coke will try again, with a new line of flavored seltzer waters, starting next March. AHA will be available in eight mixed flavors, CNN reports, including lime and watermelon and citrus and green tea. The drink will contain no sugar or calories; two options will have caffeine. "Mainstream flavored sparkling water is a segment we know we must double-down on," an executive said in a statement. "AHA is our big-bet brand in this big-bet category." Dasani will be dropped, but the company plans to keep Smartwater Sparkling and Topo Chico on the market. AHA will Coke's first new label in more than a decade.

The sales slide for La Croix, even as consumers look for something healthier than soft drinks, has helped create an opening. La Croix still holds a market share of more than 16%, Pepsi has better than 10%, and Coke lags at 2.5%, per the Wall Street Journal. Coke said the name of the new line came from the reaction first-time tasters had to it, presumably in a good way. The seltzer boom has inspired a search for variety, and that includes versions with alcohol. Anheuser-Busch plans to launch Bud Light Seltzer, a flavored drink that will contain roughly as many calories as a regular beer. (Read more Coca-Cola Co stories.)

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