The Cola Wars have assembled their troops and, once again, advanced into the coffee theater. Pepsi Café, a new product with twice the amount of caffeine as a regular Pepsi, will hit shelves nationwide in April 2020, according to a statement from the company. Pepsi Café Original will contain both the “crisp taste of a Pepsi cola” and roasted Arabica coffee, whereas the Vanilla version will be both creamier and sweeter. They’ll be sold in tall, slim 12-oz. cans, which might help avoid any unfortunate fridge mix-ups.
This isn’t the first time cola has been married with coffee via shotgun wedding. Coca-Cola Blak debuted in 2006 and stuck around for two years, while Pepsi Kona arrived 10 years before that, but was, as their latest press release so delicately puts it, “ahead of its time.” And now, across the soda aisle, Coke Plus Coffee is available in international markets and rumors swirl about dates for a U.S. release. Developing a combination soda/coffee product that consumers enjoy enough to build into their daily routine seems like a narrow target, but you can bet that neither one of these companies wants to be the second one to do it. Hybridizing soda and energy drinks might be, for now, the more natural fit.