Called Bar Nøne, the line was crafted with bar-inspired flavours and on-trend ingredients to appeal to beer, wine and cocktail drinkers.
The bottled drinks – which contain between 70 and 130 calories – are sweetened with juice blends or cane sugar. Four variants are available: spiced ginger mule, bellini spritz, dry aged cider, and sangria.
Coca-Cola said the idea for Bar Nøne hatched during an at-work conversation about the lack of flavourful substitutes for spirits.
Sabrina Tandon, Bar Nøne general manager, said: “We talked about not wanting to drink as often, or as much, as we had before. We wanted something we could actually look forward to enjoying as much as an alcoholic drink – something sippable and savour-able.”
Coca-Cola quoted research which suggests that 18% of US adults abstain from alcohol, while 35% of regular drinkers seek out non-alcoholic options.
“People are choosing not to drink for many different reasons,” said Tandon. “We’re not targeting a certain demographic, we’re targeting a mindset.”
Bar Nøne went from idea to shelf in just ten months, with Coca-Cola working closely with beverage quality and scientific and regulatory affairs teams to accelerate the launch.
Tandon said the brand is being marketed in different ways depending on the channel. “One restaurant partner, Gypsy Kitchen, has it on their brunch menu, as is, while others may use it as a shortcut ingredient with a few cocktail recipes,” she said. “Whereas in liquor stores, the average shopper isn’t looking or a non-alcoholic drink, so we’re positioning it as a mixer.
“This is a new category we’re helping to create. We’re a first mover in this space, which we think has a lot of potential. Our initial focus is on learning. We’re hoping that launching first in our backyard will be a recipe for entrepreneurial success.”
Bar Nøne is currently available in select package stores, bottle shops, restaurants and specialty markets in Coke’s hometown of Atlanta. Four-packs of 12oz bottles retail for $7.99.