Coke pulls plug on Vanilla as it plans Diet Cherry launch

Coca-Cola GB is axing Vanilla Coke and Vanilla Diet Coke following disappointing sales, just two-and-a-half years after its &£5m UK launch. At the time, it was described as Coke’s “biggest launch for 20 years”.

The vanilla variants have not sold well according to industry sources. One says the decision to discontinue the lines is “not before time”. It is understood that following an initial burst, sales have declined. The variants will be dropped in the New Year.

The decision to pull Vanilla coincides with the launch of Diet Cherry Coke. The new variant is expected to perform as well as the original Cherry Coke, which still has strong sales almost 20 years after it was introduced to the UK market. The drink will be aimed at women and is reported to taste different to Cherry Coke. An industry source says Diet Cherry Coke “tastes very much of real cherry and not of artificial flavouring”.

One retail source says: “It’s about time Coke delisted the vanilla drinks as they’re awful. We’ve replaced Vanilla Coke with Diet Coke with Lime on our shelves, a switch recommended to us by Coca-Cola at the beginning of the year.”

The source adds: “I’ve more faith in Diet Cherry Coke because the non-diet version is a big seller in the impulse market.”


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