I’ve always thought The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) and PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) were missing out on a chance to capture a niche opportunity by not marketing their beverages as a breakfast drink. Sure, drinking soda in the morning goes against everything your mother ever told you about diet and nutrition, but the fact is, there are quite a few people who like the crisp, cold taste of a sparkling beverage instead of hot coffee to wash down their breakfast.
Ignoring my free advice, however, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s decided to go in a completely different direction, launching a hot soda instead. Now, Europeans may like their beer warm and the Spanish their gazpacho cold, but does anyone really like their soda warm?
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is deploying this beverage only in Japan at the moment, using technology for a self-heating can that incorporates a double-walled canister that combines the beverage in one layer and a water and calcium oxide mix in the other. According to Gizmag.com, when the can is activated, the contents go from a tepid room temperature of 68 degrees to a steaming 158 degrees in about three minutes. With an outer polypropylene sheathing, the can stays warm for around 45 minutes while preventing the contents from burning your hands.
The self-heating can follows on the development of the self-chilling can launched earlier this year. Gizmag says the auto-cooling can has been in development for nearly two decades with both PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) and SABMiller having had plans to use the technology, though never following through (PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) abandoned the concept because the refrigerant used at the time supposedly contributed to greenhouse gases).
Both technologies certainly have their uses. Soda and beer drinkers would appreciate not having to chill their beverages before tailgating, while the self-warming containers would be an obvious evolution for individual coffee and soup servings. Indeed, Malaysia’s Hot Can manufacturer already markets those exact products.
As for The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s innovation, there’s is an argument to be made that combining ginger and spices makes a delicious hot tea, so its Canada Dry brand of hot ginger ale could be seen as an alternative to that drink, but I’m left wondering who’s been clamoring for this substitute for the real thing.
Apparently quite a few people, as Japan’s Kirin Beverage is planning to launch its own warm soda called “Kirin No Awa: Hot Hojun Apple & Hop.”