Coke takes on Starbucks in supermarket chillers with Costa iced coffee

Latest product follows Coca-Cola Energy and 'functional' flavoured water brand Aquarius.

Costa: cans launch this month
Costa: cans launch this month

Coca-Cola is launching its first products under the Costa brand since it acquired the coffee chain, with a trio of canned iced coffees.

It means Costa will now be directly competing with Starbucks, its biggest rival in the UK, in supermarkets and convenience stores, as well as through its own stores.

Coke completed the acquisition of Costa from Whitbread, owner of Premier Inn, in January for $4.9bn (£3.8bn).

Starbucks, meanwhile, reached a $7.1bn deal last year with Nestlé for the Swiss food company to sell Starbucks-branded products in grocery retailers.

Costa's three new products – Classic Latte, Caramel Latte and Black Americano – are available in 250ml cans. Coke said they contain 30% less sugar than most other ready-to-drink coffees on sale in the UK, with 15-108 calories per can.

The drinks are first launching in the UK this month and will be available shortly after in Poland and China – both countries where Costa has a significant presence.

Jennifer Mann, senior vice-president and president of global ventures at Coke, said: "Our teams at Coca-Cola and Costa Coffee have been working around the clock to make our shared vision of Costa Coffee ready-to-drink coffee a reality.

"This demonstrates the power of our partnership. It combines the marketing expertise, global scale and distribution credentials of the Coca-Cola system with Costa Coffee’s expertise and capabilities in coffee."

The latest range is the third major new product launch this year from Coke, following Coca-Cola Energy and functional water-based drink Aquarius.

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