CCSB challenge to Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola Schweppes Beverages is to distribute a series of New Age drinks which are direct rivals to Coca-Cola’s Fruitopia.

CCSB has begun talks with the trade and plans to launch a soft drink called Schizan which is believed to be manufactured by Cadbury-Schweppes. It is also said to be readying a UK launch for Oasis – a Cadbury-Schweppes-owned soft drinks range.

According to sources, both drinks will launch in the UK this summer. Oasis is a New Age range of fruit juices and iced teas already sold in other countries including France and Australia.

Schizan is an entirely new brand. Described as “a sparkling drink with natural fruit and plant extracts”, it will be sold in diet and regular versions in 330ml cans. Ingredients include the schizandra herb, limeflower extract and the guarana herb. It is said to have a similar taste to Aqua Libra, but will be priced to appeal to the mainstream rather than the premium drinks market.

Both drinks are direct rivals to Coca-Cola’s Fruitopia brand which will launch on May 1. Coca-Cola has already said it will use Food Brokers as a distributor for the brand, breaking its eight-year tradition with partner CCSB.

A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola says: “Oasis was a factor in this decision but really we wanted CCSB to concentrate on our core carbonate range.” She denied there was any rift between the two companies saying: “We have a very strong partnership with CCSB. Any decision taken was a joint one.”

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