Are You Ready For Milka Cola?

The soft drink Goliath known as Coca-Cola is now in the teat squeezing business. No longer content with drinks like Coca-Cola, bottled water and bottled juices, Coke is heading into the one form of drinkable liquid the world has left for it that isn’t alcoholic – milk.

How can Coke hope to sell you milk?  Because it’s new and different milk.  Through a process they’re not explaining and that we probably wouldn’t understand anyway, their new milk will have 50% more protein, 30% less sugar and be lactose free.  But technically it’s still milk, it just tastes better.  According to them anyway. Certainly sounds like it would be better for you.

So what’s the upside to a new brand of milk?  Especially when Coke admits right off the bat that it’s going to cost twice as much as the milk you can already get?  It’s going to make it “rain money.”

The exact quote from Coke’s executive during a conference was “We’re going to be investing in the milk business for a while to build the brand, so it won’t rain money in the early couple of years. But like Simply [Coke’s premium fruit juice line], when you do it well, it rains money later.”

Isn’t that great?  They can make it rain money.

Historically speaking this will probably work out for Coke, they have a good history obviously.  But they’re not impervious to failure either, if you recall everyone’s favorite anecdote about bad launches relating to “New Coke” back in the day, and much more recently Dasani water in the UK which bombed hard after people simply labelled it bottled tap water (which it is, incidentally.)

Milk sales have dropped recently in the US meaning it seems like maybe there’s a market to break into, but on the other hand has milk ever had the popularity as a beverage that soft drinks, juice and water have?  Milk’s never really been a sports drink, a social drink or really any kind of beverage you have outside of dinner with the family or on cereal.  It would be weird to be at a gathering of friends and just ask for milk if everyone else is having beers, or even juices and water.  Remember the immortal words of Ron Burgundy after he’d hit rock bottom – “Milk was a bad choice.”

No doubt some people will be thrilled with the idea of higher protein and lower sugar, makes it seem almost like part of a workout routine that way, but at twice the cost certainly some people will be turned away, and others will likely be weirded out just by the fact they’ve done something to milk to make it higher protein and lower sugar than normal.  Is it still milk after that?

Once Coca-Cola brand milk hits the shelves, are you going to give it a try?