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ARE YOU TIRED OF ALL THOSE wimpy soft drinks being fobbed off as real soda these days by the big bottlers? Well, hold on to your pop-tops: help is on the way in the form of Jolt, a new cola with "all the sugar and twice the caffeine" of competing brands.

C. J. Rapp, the 27-year-old founder and president of Jolt Co., in Rochester, N.Y., claims to have spent two years experimenting with 114 different formulations before he hit on his idea of potent perfection. In April, supported by local commercial spots alongside "The Cosby Show," "Dynasty," and "Miami Vice," Jolt made its debut in 26 stores of Rochester's Wegmans Food Markets. "We couldn't keep it on the shelves," says Mary Ellen Burris, director of consumer affairs for Wegmans.

Since then, using a national distribution strategy emphasizing joint ventures with regional bottlers, the company signed contracts that by July had the effervescent elixir in Canada, up and down the East Coast, and in 14 midwestern states. However, already there are signs that the drink is losing its fizzle. "It's too early to call it a fad," says Burris, "but recently sales in our stores have been going down, a little each week."

Undeterred, Rapp predicts that in 1987 Jolt's innervating therapies will be available nationwide. "We're giving back a hearty, full-bodied cola," he says, "to the silent majority who have been abandoned by the big colas."

Last updated: Oct 1, 1986




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