ATLANTA -- Just one month after Diet Coke rolled out the first frozen carbonated beverage in the brand's 31-year history, the product -- Diet Coke FROST Cherry Slurpee -- has been removed from stores because it did not freeze properly.
Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co. and 7-Eleven confirmed the decision in a joint statement.
The frozen drink was introduced Feb. 26 and sold exclusively at 7-Eleven stores. It was supposed to be released to other retailers across the country in May, and Coca-Cola had said it would likely release other frozen diet flavors.
"A significant number of stores experienced dispensing quality issues involving the product freezing consistency," the statement said. The companies declined to say more, and it is unclear if the frozen product will return to stores.
John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest, the specialty trade publication, told USA TODAY the process of freezing diet sodas isn't simple. "Creating frozen diet carbonated beverages is tricky," he said. "The diet sweeteners don't facilitate viscosity control like sugar or corn sweetener."