Caleb's Kola: Craft Soda by the Makers of Pepsi

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

"Tested batch after batch"... "sustainable Fair Trade cane sugar"... "a special blend of spices from around the world"... "a distinct foamy head."

Is this the description for a new, artisan, exotic beverage? In a way, yes. And no.

The above words are part of the launch campaign for Caleb's Kola, Pepsi's new foray into the craft beverage market.

See also: Coca-Cola Life: Stevia-Sweetened Coke Available at the Fresh Market

The cola, named after Caleb Bradham, a North Carolina pharmacist who created the original recipe for Pepsi in 1893, goes back to the turn of the 20th Century by formulating this new incarnation of soda made with sparkling water, fair trade cane sugar, African kola nuts, brown spices, and a "hint of citrus."

Not very many details are out on the soda, which is available at limited Costco stores, but according to Bevreview, a trademark for the beverage was filed in January 2014, with the soda giant trying the new formulation at "pop-up" beverage bars as early as 2013.

Caleb's Kola is a welcome change of heart for Pepsi and the start of what could be a trend among big-name soda manufacturers to fade out chemical sweeteners from sodas. Pepsi is also launching PepsiTrue, a green-labeled version of its flagship soda, sweetened with real sugar and stevia leaf extract. Pepsi True has 30 percent less sugar than regular Pepsi and contains no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.

Coca-Cola recently started marketing Coca-Cola Life, a stevia-sugar-blended cola that's already on sale at Fresh Market stores in South Florida.

Pepsi True will be available nationwide through online retailers in mid-October. So far, no word on when Caleb's Kola will come to South Florida. If you want to see it at your local Costco, Pepsi is requesting that you email friends@calebskola.com or tweet to @Calebskola.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.