According to various sources on the web, Coca-Cola’s 2007 edition of “Kosher for Passover Coke” (aka KP Coke) has started showing up in stores this week. (Not a Coke Drinker? Check out KP Pepsi or Dr. Brown’s)
For those of you who are not familiar with KP Coke, the concept is simple: it’s Coke sweetened with sugar, in cans and bottles with “OU-P” or “Kosher L’Pesach” printed in Hebrew on a yellow cap. It’s only available during March and April in areas with high Jewish populations, such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Boston.
Why is there interest in such a product? Consumers (myself included) prefer the taste of CSDs that are made with sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup. The flavor is cleaner and more crisp, and you don’t have that lingering syrupy coating to your mouth. Translation: it actually makes drinking a Coca-Cola enjoyable.
Of course, Coca-Cola needs to keep tight control over such a superior product. For if the mainstream consumer had regular access to Coke with sugar, well, they might not want to consume the regular old HFCS based Coke. And since the CSD market is in such a terrific state right now, that would be a bad bad thing if consumers had the desire to purchase a sugar sweetened version of Coke as opposed to, well, ceasing consumption of CSDs ;)
In all seriousness though, this now annual PR “incident” is a reminder to Coke: consumers want to drink better products. Kosher Coke has been flagged as a premium product – and it didn’t take advertising, focus groups, etc. Instead of churning through flavor after flavor of cola line extensions, go with what is staring you right in the face every spring: cane sugar Coca-Cola. Sooner or later Coke WILL have to give this a try…why not now?