The company further emphasised that there is zero sugar content in the new product, and that the artificial sweeteners used are safe for consumption.
“In Australia, we have joined with other beverage companies to commit to reducing sugar across our portfolios by 20% by 2025,” said a spokesman for Coca-Cola South Pacific to FoodNavigator-Asia.
“At Coca-Cola, the changes we are making to achieve this target include offering more reduced and no sugar drinks such as Coca-Cola Batch Blends, reducing sugar in existing drink recipes and making smaller bottles and cans available.
“Coca-Cola Batch Blends has no sugar. The sweeteners in Coca-Cola Batch Blends are aspartame and acesulphame-K.”
“Both are used in many foods and drinks to provide people with low or no kilojoule/sugar alternatives. We only use those sweeteners that have been thoroughly tested in scientific studies and are confirmed as safe by globally recognized authorities.”
Further to this, Coca-Cola Australia added via the official press release that this product will be ‘exclusive’, ‘sophisticated’, and ‘designed to appeal to discerning adult palates’.
“[We’ve only] chosen a limited selection of venues where Batch Blends will be ranged,” said Coca-Cola Australia Marketing Director Lucie Austin.
Caffeine-wise, this coffee-cola combination contains 35mg of caffeine per 250mL, as compared to 24mg/250mL in Coca-Cola Classic.
According to Mayo Clinic, ‘Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults.’ This means that although the caffeine content in the new product is significantly higher than that in Coca-Cola Classic, it is still far below the safe daily intake if taken in moderation.
“The combination of caffeine and Cola does sound like a bit of a heart-starter, but the caffeine content is a conservative 35mg per can, which is actually around the same amount per can as normal Coca-Cola,” said nutritionist Kristin Beck to news.com.au.
“[There] is actually significantly less than the amount […] in a cup of brewed coffee (around 90mg), and far less than in many energy drinks (from 80-150mg per can), and iced-coffee products (up to more than 135mg per serve) currently on the Australian market.”
“My biggest nutritional concern with the new product isn’t actually the caffeine, but instead the artificial sweeteners,” Beck added.
For children though, experts recommend between 45mg to 100mg of caffeine (dependent on age) as the safe limit daily, making Batch Blends truly more suitable for adult consumption.
The new product is available in two flavours, Caramel and Coffee and Coffee and Chocolate, and only in 250ml servings.
Coca-Cola Australia’s unique flavour infusions
Just last year, Coca-Cola Australia already experimented with a coffee-cola blend, the limited edition Coffee Plus, although that blend claimed 50% higher caffeine content and 50% less calories than normal Coke instead.
Consumer reactions to Coffee Plus tended towards the negative, ranging from ‘disgusting’ to ‘acerbic’ to ‘unholy’. Coca-Cola Australia declined to comment further on queries regarding Coffee Plus.
Other previously-launched Coca-Cola infusions include cherry, lemon and raspberry.
“In Australia, we have launched a number of great tasting flavours in recent times including Coca-Cola Ginger in 2016 and Coca-Cola Orange No Sugar which is also available now,” added the Coca-Cola spokesman.