Pepsi Kona
A Pepsi Kona Can
A Pepsi Kona Can.
Flavor: Coffee
Color: Brown      
Current Status: Discontinued
Locations Available: The city of Philadelphia.
Year(s) Available: May 1996 - 1997
Related Flavors: Pepsi A.M., Pepsi Cappuccino
Related Promotions: N/A

Pepsi Kona was a coffee flavored Pepsi test marketed only in Philadelphia in May 1996 and until 1997. Only this time, The idea behind of this is to make the drink to taste like coffee. The beverage also failed, as it never made it out of the test marketing stage, and then discontinued due to the decline of soft-drinks that contained coffee at that time.

History Edit

Pepsi Kona was test marketed in The city of Philadelphia of May 1996, and until 1997, as a coffee flavored Pepsi, but this is the second attempt that Pepsi had attempted for a morning drink.

Technical development of Pepsi-Kona went successfully, thanks to PepsiCo’s core competencies in soft drink development and its knowledge of the coffee business gained through its relationship with Starbucks. A coffee-brown label, prominently displaying the Pepsi logo and the Kona name in script, was prepared, and the decision was made to package the product in 20-ounce bottles and 12-ounce cans.

A full-scale promotional assault was readied. Several weeks before the launch, Philadelphia television stations began airing 15-second teaser spots with the themes “Spank Your Senses” and “Grab Life by the Konas.” Once Pepsi-Kona was launched, it was on sale virtually everywhere, from the supermarket, to the 7-11, to street vendors (who had Pepsi-Kona posters prominently displayed on their trucks).

A very entertaining full-length TV commercial was aired, in which singer Tom Jones stood on a table in a crowded cafeteria and belted out “It’s Not Unusual” while sipping Pepsi-Kona. Consumers kept their eyes peeled for the “Kona Hummer,” a large vehicle from which samples of Pepsi-Kona were distributed.

The Philadelphia test market went poorly. While brewed coffee continued to be popular, the ready-to-drink coffee market (i.e., soft drinks containing coffee) was leveling off and actually declined during the mid-1990s. Some observers commented that the Kona Hummer and the TV spots were rarely seen. Furthermore, many consumers stated that they just didn’t like the flavor combination of Pepsi-Cola and coffee. Pepsi-Kona was withdrawn from Philadelphia and never went into national distribution.

Trivia Edit

  • This is the second attempt of many attempts at a morning drink. See "Related Flavors" in the infobox for more.