Coca-Cola is considering resurrecting Dasani as the brand name for a new bottled water, which is expected to hit the UK market in January.
Insiders claim that fresh life will be breathed into Dasani, which flopped following its launch in 2004 amid a health scare and revelations that the drink was no more than bottled tap water.
But with the decline in global carbonated soft drinks sales and the growth of bottled waters set to make still drinks more valuable than carbonates for the first time in 2007, any bottled water launch by Coke in the UK is critical to its future success here.
A Coke spokesman says there is no chance it will reintroduce the brand in the UK, but sources close to the company say Dasani “never went away”.
One says that Coke executives have been considering attempts to rescue the brand with the objective of giving it a global presence. Dasani is a top seller in the US and Canada. The source states: “The new product development department still views Dasani as being an option on the table. Maybe with a strong look and &£10m thrown at advertising we’ll find consumers have short memories.”
Another Coke insider says Dasani has been considered to be a “strong option” for the water product for months. The source says the brand is a “strong proposition” elsewhere in the world and Coke likes to have global brands, rather than local ones.
Industry sources suggest the water may come from the Belgian Chaud Fontaine source, purchased by Coca-Cola three years ago.
Soon after Dasani’s &£7m launch, the product was revealed as tap water from the mains supply at Coke’s Sidcup factory. Coke then had to recall 500,000 bottles and pull major advertising plans when the water was found to contain high levels of a potentially carcinogenic chemical.