Cows may not think it is the real thing, but Coca-Cola is preparing to launch fizzy milk on the world.
The drink contains skim milk mixed with sparkling water, flavored with fruit and sweetened with cane sugar.
Scientists have developed the drink at the firm’s laboratories in Atlanta, Georgia, ensuring it will not curdle in its 8 oz. aluminium bottle.
Going under the name Vio, Coca-Cola has begun test-marketing the carbonated drink at natural food stores and delis in New York. It sells for about $2.50 a bottle, no chilling required. One of Coke’s copywriters claims it tastes "like a birthday party for a polar bear."
It comes in four "natural" flavors — peach mango, berry, citrus and tropical colada — and could even be marketed as a healthy nutritional drink. But it has 26 grams of sugar a bottle, on a par with other non-diet Coca-Cola products, and 1.5 grams of fat.
"It’s big on milk flavor and, as a result, has a somewhat creamy body," said a flavor tester for BevNET.com, a drink industry research site. "It didn’t seem sweet until you consumed almost a whole bottle."
The drink is part of a wider Coke initiative called Project Life to develop milk-based products. If it is a success in the United States it could be launched globally.