Will Coca-Cola’s latest product turn sour?

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‘Premiumisation’ is a new one on me. I’ve poured over the dictionary and used several online resources for reference.

Nope – it’s not a word. Unless you’re Coca-Cola’s North American chief, Sandy Douglas, that is. Not only has he invented the word, he also claims that the global giant is going to take ‘milk where it’s never been before’. The man has some confidence.

According to Douglas, the company will launch ‘Fairlife’ in the US next month. Apparently, it’s a more ‘nutritious’ milk with 50 per cent more natural protein and calcium and less sugar than ordinary milk. It’s the ‘premiumisation of milk’.

Firstly, given Coca-Cola’s failure to conquer the world of spring water with Dansani (otherwise known as bottled tap water, so industry experts claim), I’m rather surprised that it’s choosing to muscle in on such a traditional market once again. There’s diversifying a brand, but this takes balls! While the super brand has done a fantastic job of repackaging its fizzy drinks to cover every inch of the market, I’m pretty sure cows might have something to say about its attempts to soup up milk.

It’s not a market that jumps out at me as one that has scope for ‘premiumisation’, but clearly Coca-Cola has spotted a gap in the market – however minute it may be. Only time will tell whether this product joins the likes of ‘Surge’, ‘Sprite Remix’, ‘OK Soda’ and ‘Tab Clear’ in the brand graveyard. For now, I’m going to add ‘premiumisation’ to my repertoire and watch and wait to see whether ‘Fairlife’ turns sour.