Last year, when Coca-Cola launched C2, I converted. Like any consumer afraid of too much sugar, but also appaled by Diet Coke, I welcomed the mid-road beverage. I was dissapointed with the marketing campaign and the 8-cans packages that cost as much as the regular 12-cans, but I stuck with it.
Soon enough, Coca-Cola C2 became a grocery store mainstay and was packaged and priced like the regular Coke brands. A little over a month ago, I noticed C2′s presence was sparse in the Brooklyn supermarket I shopped at. A new Coke, Coca Cola Zero started taking up more shelf space. The new no-calorie drink sucks; its name, Zero, is well deserved.
Now, C2 is nowhere to be found. All the Washington, D.C. supermarkets I checked don’t stock it. So I did the next best thing to switching to Pepsi (against whom I have a personal grudge): I called e-mailed Coca Cola. Excerpts from their first reply is below:
Thank you for contacting The Coca-Cola Company. We are glad to hear from a fan of Coca-Cola C2 and apologize that you have had difficulty finding it in your area. Regarding availability, local bottling companies choose which brands to sell and the size of the packaging that will be available in their territories. These decisions are based on consumer demand and other market factors. We believe they are in the best position to make those decisions.
Your loyalty to Coca-Cola C2 is certainly appreciated.
That was not enough information. On the Coca-Cola Web site, C2 is no longer listed among the brands available in the U.S., which leads me to believe they’re going to kill it. I called 1-800-GET-COKE and they told me it’s still manufactured, but it’s up to stores to order it from the local sales
center. Regarding C2′s dissapearance from the Web site, the representative said: “good question. I don’t know why it’s not there anymore.”
Naturally I called the local bottling company in Columbia, Md. They referred me to the Washington D.C. sales center, where I was told to go and complain at the grocery store, which would make them order it. But, she added, we do try to push new drinks when they come in.
“So Zero pushed C2 off the shelves?” I asked.
“Yes,” she told me.
I am yet to get a final answer from Coca-Cola regarding C2, but I suspect it’s dead. More evidence to suggest that is that the Coke C2 official Web site, www.cokec2.com now re-directs users to the company’s main site. The Way Back Machine has only captured this as a reminder of the C2 days.
While in Brooklyn, I thought of holding on to my last C2 bottle and its metal-gray cap. I decided against it, arguing C2 will live on. It looks like I was wrong.
Update (Aug. 25, 5:00 PM): I received an e-mail from a Coca-Cola media representative who gave me a couple links to their C2 brand page, along with a link to Coke’s Virtual Vender, which still shows the drink. My question was more targeted though; I had asked if C2 was off the market or not. Their non-response was similar to the earlier comment I heard on the phone that the beverage was still manufactured. Shouldn’t one be able to tell if a product is being made by coming across it in a store?
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