Asda and Spar to pre-empt Coca-Cola’s vanilla launch

Coca-Cola has suffered a blow to its launch of Vanilla Coke following two retailers’ decision to launch their own-brand vanilla cola in the all important two-litre bottles, two months before the soft drinks giant’s own brand hits the shelves.

Asda has launched its own vanilla cola in two-litre bottles. Although 500ml bottles of Vanilla Coke are already being sold in the UK, the core two-litre bottle is not expected to be rolled out until June. Spar is also to pre-empt Coca-Cola with the launch of its two-litre vanilla cola bottle in May.

The move follows Coca-Cola’s decision to bring forward the launch date of Vanilla Coke to fend off grey imports entering the UK from Canada (MW February 13). A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola Great Britain says: “The introduction of own-brand rivals should not affect the launch.”

The drink has been a success in the US, where it has sold more than 90 million cases. Pepsi is also thought to be considering the introduction of a vanilla-flavoured variant.

Diet Coke With Lemon was introduced last June (MW April 4, 2002), but its future in the UK is looking doubtful as sales have plummeted. Coca-Cola is also to repackage its Cherry Coke brand to coincide with the launch of Vanilla Coke.

McCann-Erickson was last month handed the &£5m advertising brief to promote Vanilla Coke (MW last week).

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here