NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Vanilla Coke too sweet? Blue Pepsi too ... blue? Never fear. America's craving for bizarre beverages now has another potential savior -- a cola that can get you drunk.
Brown-Forman Beverages Worldwide, which makes Jack Daniels, and Miller Brewing Co. plan to introduce Jack Daniels Hard Cola, which will have 5 percent alcohol by volume, in bars and restaurants by July and in stores by September.
"We believe Jack Daniel's Original Hard Cola will be a great competitor in the flavored malt beverage category," Brown-Forman Spirits President Michael Cheek said in a press release.
That category has become a crowded field, with the pioneering Zima, a product of Adolph Coors Co. (RKY: down $0.18 to $67.89, Research, Estimates), being followed by Diageo PLC product Smirnoff Ice, Anheuser-Busch Cos. (BUD: down $0.51 to $50.44, Research, Estimates) product Bacardi Silver, Skyy Spirits product SKYY Blue and many more.
|Jack Daniels Hard Cola
The new drink's name is also reminiscent of another "malternative" beverage, Mike's Hard Lemonade. It will taste like a dark cola, combined with the flavor of Jack Daniels whiskey.
The cola will sell in 6- and 12-packs of 12-oz. longneck bottles, with a label similar to that of Jack Daniels Whiskey. Brown-Forman spokesman Phil Lynch said a national marketing campaign will coincide with the product's September roll-out in stores.
The company expects to ship about 5 million cases, containing 24 12-ounce bottles, of the drink in the second half of 2002. The company hasn't set a specific price for the drink, preferring to wait and see how its competitors perform during the summer.
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Louisville, Ky.-based Brown-Forman makes Jack Daniels Whiskey, Southern Comfort liqueur and other alcoholic beverages. Miller Brewing, most famous for its beer, is also marketing a number of other malt drinks, including SKYY Blue.
Brown-Forman (BF.B: down $0.90 to $78.70, Research, Estimates) shares fell in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Miller parent company Philip Morris Cos. (MO: down $0.10 to $54.34, Research, Estimates) were little changed.