BevNET Staff Writer
Energy drink giant Red Bull is preparing to launch a natural cola brand in seven countries, BevNET has learned.
Branded Red Bull Simply Cola, the product will be available in the 200 ml Red Bull slim can as well as a 355 ml version. The cola product would be the first major brand extension for the company since the introduction of Sugar-Free Red Bull.
An announcement regarding the all-natural cola – which will contain Kola nut and Coca leaf, as well as natural caffeine derived from coffee beans, according to a flier acquired by BevNET – is expected to be delivered tomorrow by the company. Until then, Red Bull is keeping information close to the vest – only offering information upon the signing of a non-disclosure agreement.
Nevertheless, as the following can images indicate, the product is on its way, and will be marketed using the tagline “Strong and Natural”:
While a cola flavor is not unusual in the energy drink segment – both of Red Bull’s leading competitors, Monster and Rockstar, have rolled out cola versions of their energy products in the past, to varying degrees of success – the new product moves off of Red Bull’s core image in two ways. It plays on the product’s taste, offering glimpses of natural vanilla, cinnamon, lemon and lime, cardamom and ginger plants in its trade dress, and it also plays in the fast-growing natural segment.
If the company’s formulation is truly 100 percent natural, that would leave it eligible for distribution in natural food giant Whole Foods in the U.S. – a retailing avenue that has until now been closed to the energy drink leader. While Whole Foods has been a small player in energy drink retailing, it recently began merchandising a set of all-natural energy drinks in an effort to tap into the sales of the $2 billion-plus beverage category.
There has been speculation for several months that the company would be launching a new product to accompany its eponymous brand onto the shelves. Red Bull had previously developed an enhanced “botanic water” product called Carpe Diem, but allowed another company, AMI Brands, to distribute it.