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    Coke to Introduce Energy Drink

    Company aims to carve into Red Bull¿s vast lead.

    ATLANTA -- In January, Coke plans to introduce an energy drink called Full Throttle. Coke hopes it will be a better competitor than an earlier entry, the slow-selling KMX, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    Coke, along with every other company in the category, wants to carve into the vast lead established by Red Bull, a high-octane energy drink that has consistently out-muscled its competition.
    Red Bull held 58.5 percent of the U.S. energy drink market in 2003, boosted by sales growth of 45 percent.
    So far, Pepsi has a pair of entrants that have cracked the top five. While Coke will keep offering KMX to its bottlers, Full Throttle is clearly a new hope for success.
    “It’s a category that continues to grow,” said Coke spokesman Scott Williamson. “We want to have an increasing role.”
    Consumers clamor for energy drinks because they offer more kick than soda. Williamson said a 16-ounce can of Full Throttle will deliver about twice the caffeine as the same amount of Coke Classic.
    Full Throttle had been in the works for months but was finally unveiled Monday in Las Vegas, at the National Association of Convenience Stores convention. Coke expects to start selling Full Throttle in January, primarily in convenience stores, where energy drinks are a popular impulse item.

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