The company started installing Freestyle fountains in restaurants, theaters, convenience stores and other locations in 2009, and has since deployed 40,000 in North America.
They dispense about 14 million drinks a day — only a tiny sip for Coke, which sells more than 1.9 billion servings around the globe each day. But it’s still a lot of data.
Sprite Cherry and its no-cal version will be the first official new sodas born from that data. Coca-Cola also said they are the first new products added to its core fizzy drink line in North America since it launched Coke Life — a low calorie Coca-Cola variant with natural sweeteners — in 2014.
Coke has grappled with declining consumption of soda in North America amid changing preferences and health concerns.
Most of its growth has been in non-carbonated beverages based on a virtual grocery store full of ingredients: milk, green tea, coffee, coconut water, aloe vera and other flavors.
Last month, Coca-Cola and Dunkin’ Donuts said they are jointly launching a bottled cold coffee drink aimed at competing with Starbucks’ and PepsiCo’s popular Frappuccino brand.
Coke announced Sprite Cherry and a half dozen new tea and coffee beverages at the 2016 NACS Show, a massive trade show for convenience store operators held last week in Atlanta.