PepsiCo is expected to drop its 12-year-old Diet 7-Up brand in the UK and replace it with a reformulated drink, 7-Up Lite.
According to industry sources, the renamed lemon and lime product will include the same process as the PepsiMax brand, enabling Pepsi to produce a stronger taste for its low-calorie drink.
Insiders say Pepsi will market the new drink as having a superior taste to other low calorie lemon and lime carbonated drinks such as Sprite and Gio.
The drink will be aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds.
Pepsi refused to com ment on the launch, but according to sources an announcement will be made next week. Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO is expected to develop a television advertising campaign.
Analysts say the change of name to Lite may help increase sales. “The term Lite is less restrictive than Diet. It doesn’t say ‘I am dieting’,” says chairman of research group Zenith International Richard Hall.
He adds that 1994 Zenith figures shows low-calorie drinks accounted for 29 per cent of the market by volume, but research indicates that the sector could be swelled to 35 per cent.
7-Up is the UK’s best selling lemon and lime drink, according to figures from research group Mintel. It has 2.4 per cent of the carbonates market by volume.