Just days after Coca-Cola announced it is discontinuing its iconic diet soda, TaB, and breaking the hearts of TaB’s die-hard cult following in the process, the beverage giant has just announced plans to discontinue production of 200 of its beverage brands. If anyone’s counting, that’s half its current beverage portfolio.
This news, which was announced during Coca-Cola’s third-quarter earnings call on October 22, comes just weeks after Coca-Cola announced the end of the line for its coconut beverage brand, Zico and less than three months after the Odwalla line of “healthy” smoothies and juices got unceremoniously “canned.” While we can’t say we’re actually missing any of these rather bizarre discontinued sodas you’ll never see again, this latest round of Coca-Cola cancellations could sting.
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Although the full list of brands on the chopping block has not yet been revealed, CEO James Quincy has hinted it will include those he’s referred to before as “zombie brands” (i.e., those whose sales make up only 2% of Coca-Cola’s total revenue).
Since sales of water and sports drinks fell 11% in the third quarter, it is reasonable to assume we’re looking at a farewell to some or all of Coca-Cola’s “hydration” brands, which include Dasani (whose Dasani Drops we’re fond of), Powerade, and Vitamin Water. Being fans of these 13 healthy sports drinks for weight loss, you’ll have to excuse us if we shed a few electrolyte-enhanced tears.
That being said, the elimination of half of the company’s beverage brands is being characterized by Coca-Cola as a growth strategy, allowing the soda company to devote more of its focus to its more profitable offerings, including Coca-Cola Zero and Topo Chico hard seltzer. Coca-Cola intends to continue exploring new products in dynamic beverage categories (including booze- and caffeine-spiked seltzers) and tailoring its offerings to meet the ever-changing demands of its beverage drinkers in real time.
Speaking of which, we tasted the top 6 spiked seltzers, and this one stood head and shoulders above all the others. And for more of the latest grocery store news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter.