What happened to Caffeine Free Coke? Discontinued?


Caffeine Free Coke

You are here because you’re asking why you can’t find Caffeine Free Coke in 2020. Stores have sold out, and online retailers like Amazon and Walmart are out of stock. You’re wondering, do they still make Caffeine Free Coke?!?!

[ Updated 10/20/2020 ]

Caffeine Free Coke has not been permanently discontinued. The COVID-19 crisis has caused a shortage in aluminum cans, which caused Coca-Cola to temporarily stop producing Caffeine Free Coke. Most other beverage manufacturers have also limited less popular drins until the shortage is resolved.

So, take a deep breath and relax. Caffeine Free Coke will be back, but probably not until 2021. 😢

Where can I find Caffeine Free Coke?

Right now, nowhere. I’m sorry but most online retailers are out of stock by now. Fortunately, it’s not permanently discontinued.

Some independent online stores may have Caffeine Free Coke, but expect to pay 10x the normal price.

See below for some caffeine-free alternatives which will have to do until your favorite is back.

If you can handle caffeine free diet…

Stock status updated 10/20/2020:

pepsi caffeine free
Pepsi Caffeine Free

Do they still make Caffeine Free Coke?

Coca-Cola is not producing Caffeine Free Coke right now while it figures out how to adjust to the increased demand for sodas in cans.

I have a family member who works for Coca-Cola. She didn’t initially know what was going on. She initially thought Coca-Cola stopped producing Caffeine Free Coke temporarily as a result of COVID-19 impacts on the supply of raw materials.

Later, she figured out the issue was actually a shortage of aluminum cans that caused Coca-Cola to limit the amount of flavors produced. So, it’s definitely a raw materials issue- aluminum! Who would have thought the shortage was cans?!?!?

Coca-Cola’s Official Statement

Many people have asked about Caffeine Free Coke on Facebook. Coca-Cola responds to all the questions with the same post:

Caffeine free Coca-Cola has not been discontinued. Like many companies, we are seeing greater demand for products consumed at home, and we are taking measures to adapt to the demand. We are working closely with our customers and our suppliers to mitigate the challenge during this unprecedented time. We appreciate your loyalty to our beverages and please know that we are working hard to keep the products you love on store shelves.

Coca-Cola Facebook Page

Coca-Cola has made many official statements regarding their response to COVID-19. Here are a few quotes specifically related to availability of their products:

Local grocery stores, retailers and restaurants are working hard to ensure families can get the food, beverages and supplies they need during this challenging time. We are doing everything we can to support these businesses and everyone they serve.

Coca-Cola

To ensure our products’ availability, we maintain business continuity plans to address any supply chain challenges that could arise.

CocaOpens in a new tab.ColaOpens in a new tab.

Coca-Cola produced a lot of content on their COVID-19 efforts worldwide:

Contact Coca-Cola

You can contact Coca-Cola yourself. You can email their consumer relations department. Here is the email address: consumer.relations@coca-cola.comOpens in a new tab.

I emailed consumer relations at Coca-Cola for a status of Caffeine Free Coke. I received the following templated response. It’s not very helpful, but I appreciate that they responded at all…

We appreciate your interest in our products and brands. Like many companies, we are seeing greater demand for products consumed at home, and we are taking measures to adapt to the demand. We are working closely with our customers and our suppliers to mitigate the challenge during this unprecedented time.

Please feel free to use this product locator to find some additional locations to find your favorite brands. http://locator.coke.com/lct-web/ Be aware that the stores listed have ordered the product recently, but do not show their current inventory, so we recommend calling ahead to ensure that they have the product in stock.

We are excited to now offer on-line purchasing of select products on Amazon Pantry which is available to Amazon Prime members. Please visit Amazon.com for additional information or The Coca-Cola online store https://beverages.cokestore.com/. At this time, there is no additional way to purchase or order product directly from us.

Thank you for letting us know about the situation at your local store(s), which we will look into. We appreciate your loyalty to our beverages and please know that we are working hard to keep the products you love on store shelves.

We currently have no estimated timeframe for replenishing stock. Thank you for your continued patience.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.

Email response from Coca-Cola

What about Caffeine Free Diet Coke?

Caffeine Free DIet Coke initially suffered from a shortage, but is mostly back in stock online and in supermarkets. It goes in and out of stock quickly, though, because of high demand. So, if you see it available, buy it!

Watch out for prices online, though. They can be super expensive right now! I’ve seen a 12-pack going for close to $20 online. That is a serious rip off. If you’re desperate, I guess it could still be worth it.

What about Diet Coke and Coke Zero?

Coca-Cola announced that there could be long term impacts to supplies of Diet Coke and Coke Zero. The artificial sweeteners used in those products is in short supply. So far, those products remain on store shelves and available online. Hopefully, this won’t impact the same way as Caffeine Free Coke. I have a full post on the status of Coke Zero here.

Coca-Cola said… that its supply chain could be disrupted in the long term as coronavirus continues to spread. The beverage manufacturer also said it depends on suppliers in China for certain sweeteners added to its diet and zero sugar drinks.

USA Today

Is caffeine free Pepsi or Dr Pepper an alternative?

If you thought you might get through these tough times with a caffeine free Pepsi, think again. It seems that quite a few people had the same idea and caffeine free Pepsi has now disappeared from store shelves and online retailers as well. Pepsi also limited production of certain beverages as well.

Here is our full post on what is happening with Pepsi Caffeine Free here.

Caffeine Free Dr Pepper was on store shelves and available online until late July but now is out of stock from most stores too.

Alternatives

There are several companies that make cola syrup you can use to make your own caffeine free cola. Here is the best deal on Amazon for caffeine free cola syrup.Opens in a new tab.

You can also try making your own. Below is a recipe I put together…

Caffeine Free Coca-Cola
Print

Caffeine Free Cola Recipe

If you can't find your favorite caffeine free cola, make your own! This is a bit crazy, but if you're desperate, why not try it. It's all natural and quick to make.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 12 people

Ingredients

  • 1 quart water
  • 7 1/2 cups sugar about 2lbs
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 oranges, zest and juice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken or 1/4 tsp ground
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 slices fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp ground dried ginger
  • 1/4 cup Kitchen Bouquet or other browning sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Add water, sugar, fruit zest, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg and ginger into a sauce pot over high heat. Bring to a boil for 1 minute and then turn off the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Add fruit juices, Kitchen Bouquet and vanilla.
  • Strain mixture.
  • To make a cola drink, add 1/2 cup of syrup to 1 1/2 cups carbonated water. Mix gently and add ice.
  • Store leftover syrup in the refrigerator for two weeks.

Notes

This isn’t going to taste exactly like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, but will definitely be recognizable as cola. But, it’s caffeine free!

What other caffeine free sodas are available?

There are many soft drinks that do not contain caffeine. In fact, way too many to list here when you include regional brands. Your best bet is to go to your local supermarket and look for sodas you think you would be happy with and check the label for caffeine.

Since caffeine is an added ingredient in nearly all sodas, it is listed as an ingredient in the standardized ingredients list that is on all food products sold in the US. A quick look at the label will tell you if the soda contains any caffeine. If you don’t see caffeine in the ingredient list, it should be caffeine free. Maybe you’ll even find something new you like just as much!

soda ingredient list showing caffeine

Why is there an aluminum shortage?

Nothing has changed with the supply of aluminum. But, with so many people working from home and eating out less, the demand for sodas in aluminum cans has skyrocketed. Similarly, the demand for soda from restaurant fountain machines has dropped.

For things to get back to normal, we’ll all need to go back to work. Or, the world will need to figure out how to produce a lot more aluminum for cans.

News stories on the aluminum shortage

Related Questions

  • Is there caffeine in Caffeine Free Coke?

    No. There is no caffeine in Caffeine Free Coke. In fact, all of Coca-Cola's products labeled as “caffeine free” contain no caffeine. The same holds true for all other manufacturers of sodas in the US. The term “caffeine free” is generally understood to mean that the product contains no added caffeine.

  • Does Coke Zero have caffeine?

    Yes, Coke Zero contains caffeine. The “zero” in Coca-Cola Zero Sugar refers to zero sugar and zero calories. In 2017, Coca-Cola replaced the original Coke Zero with a slightly updated recipe called “Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar”. Hopefully, the name helps prevent future confusion over what the “zero” in the name means.

  • Is Coke still making Caffeine Free Diet Coke?

    Yes, Caffeine Free Diet Coke is still being produced. It has been affected by the same aluminum shortage, but is available in stores and from some online retailers. The demand is currently very high so might be out of stock from some stores. You can check Amazon's listing here.

  • Is there a Coke Zero with no caffeine?

    Yes. There is a variant with no caffeine called “Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar Caffeine Free” More info on Coke's website.

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