Coke Blak Goes Black

Coke has discontinued U.S. sales of Coke Blak, the Coca-Cola and coffee drink that, despite the buildup, never quite got off the ground.

The 8 oz. bottles, which came wrapped in mocha-brown plastic, were aimed at a slightly older audience than Coke’s hardcore fans, but it never really found its intended group — or any other.

Coca-Cola spokesman Scott Williamson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the company’s bottlers will continue making and selling Coca-Cola Blak until concentrate supplies run out. He said he didn’t know how long that will take.

Sales are expected to continue in France, Spain, Canada, the Czech Republic and other countries overseas.

Coke spent two years developing Coca-Cola Blak to try to make inroads into the growing coffee and premium beverage markets.

Coke didn’t announce its decision; it was reported Thursday in industry newsletter Beverage Digest.

Why didn’t the niche beverage catch on? Coke won’t say for sure.

Coca-Cola Blak, which has sold for as much as $1.99 a bottle, may have been too pricey for its target consumer, described by a Coke marketing executive last year as the over-30 "savvy, sophisticated achiever."

Or maybe it was taste.

"It is not for everyone," Coke marketing executive Katie Bayne told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution when the drink was launched in April 2006. "It is an adult cola taste."