Coke aborts ‘mid-carb’ UK launch

Coca-Cola Great Britain has axed plans to launch its “mid-calorie/mid-carbohydrate” cola C2 in the UK. The decision to scrap the intended launch comes in the same year as the disastrous launch of its Dasani bottled water (MW March 4).

The C2 brand was rolled out in the US in June, but research in the UK has found that it would cannibalise sales of Diet Coke. The company has also discovered that it would be difficult to establish C2 as a brand in its own right in the UK and its efforts would be better concentrated on Diet Coke.

Meanwhile, C2 has faltered in the US, where the product was priced at a premium over regular cola-based drinks. It was supported by a &£27m advertising launch campaign featuring Rolling Stones hit You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola confirms that while C2 “tested well” in the UK, the product would not go forward to launch and that the company saw a “greater opportunity” for Diet Coke.

PepsiCo has not indicated any plans to launch its mid-carbohydrate rival Pepsi Edge in the UK.

Coca-Cola intends to increase its investment in Diet Coke next year and plans to include Diet Coke With Lime in its flavoured cola line-up (MW November 18). The company also wants to broaden the appeal of Diet Coke to men by creating more gender-neutral advertising campaigns.

It recently handed its &£9m Diet Coke business, previously with Lowe, to roster agency Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest (MW October 14). It is believed that VCCP is working on a campaign featuring a deep-thinking tortoise as the central character.

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