Coca-Cola is gearing up for another clash with soft drinks rival PepsiCo, with the planned launch of Diet Coke with Lime.
Insiders say Coca-Cola will have Diet Coke with Lime on the shelves by February, and the company confirms that it is likely to launch “early next year”.
Pepsi has already announced the launch of a lemon and lime-flavoured Pepsi Max variant, to be called Pepsi Max Twist, next January. It will position the drink as a “no added sugar” beverage, with the strapline “Maximum taste, no sugar” (MW October 28).
Diet Coke with Lime was launched in the US in January this year. Coca-Cola is keen to offer a full portfolio of diet cola flavours, to cater for increasingly health-conscious consumers who no longer drink full-sugar colas. It launched Diet Vanilla Coke in the UK last May, and Diet Coke with Lemon in June 2002 (MW April 4, 2002)
Observers say the jury is still out on whether Coca-Cola will bring its mid-calorie/carbohydrate variant, C2, to the UK. The product has not proved successful in the US where it cost more than regular colas.
Coca-Cola recently reduced its long-term profit and sales targets and announced that it will increase its global marketing spend by $400m (&£216m) next year. Chief marketing officer Chuck Fruit is quoted as saying of Coca-Cola’s advertising: “There has been too much local stuff… and too little attention to brand-building and iconic advertising.”