Coca-Cola boots Dasani for newer, more fun AHA seltzer

Photo: Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola hopes its new AHA brand of sparkling water isn’t too little too late. The company has watched rivals—notably PepsiCo’s Bubly brand, which Pepsi is throwing plenty of weight behind—succeed in the sparkling water and seltzer game, and now it wants a bigger seat at the table.

AHA will launch in March, according to Coca-Cola, and will come in eight zero-calorie flavors: Lime and Watermelon, Strawberry and Cucumber, Citrus and Green Tea, Black Cherry and Coffee, Orange and Grapefruit, Apple and Ginger, Blueberry and Pomegranate, and Peach and Honey. It’s a shame the company will discontinue Dasani sparkling to make room for AHA; Dasani was the winner of our lime seltzer blind taste test.

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Notably, two of the AHA flavors—Citrus and Green Tea; and Black Cherry and Coffee—contain 30 milligrams each of caffeine. That’s roughly equivalent to the amount of caffeine in a 16-oz. decaf Starbucks coffee. Coca-Cola says it began with a list of 800 possible flavors, then tested 50 combinations before landing on these eight flavors.

“Our partners told us, ‘We don’t need yet another lime- or berry-flavored sparkling water. We need something fresh and new that can help grow the category,’” Julie Siwemuke, sparkling water director, Coca-Cola North America, said in a statement.

The flavor combinations are fairly novel, as far as sparkling waters go. But whether Coca-Cola’s AHA line can regain ground it’s already ceded to LaCroix, Bubly, Spindrift, and others remains to be seen.

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Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.