Retailers have accused Coca-Cola of "taking its eye off the ball" by investing time and money on declining products such as Lilt while neglecting strong brands such as Oasis.
Retail insiders say that Coke should be focusing on developing new products for the Oasis brand rather than rebranding and repackaging brands such as Lilt and Dr Pepper, both of which have seen double-digit decline over the past 12 months. Oasis sales have increased by 21% this year and the brand is now worth £61m (AC Nielsen).
Lilt saw volume sales decline by 32% in the 52 weeks to August 12 and Dr Pepper recorded a 14% decline in the same period.
One retailer says: "Fruit carbonates are declining faster than colas while Oasis is one of our top-selling lines and could be one of Coke’s heavyweight products, but there has been little innovation in the product or packaging."
Industry sources say that Coke must develop new products for the "neglected" Oasis brand. One insider says Oasis Fusion, belatedly introduced early this year after production problems, has received little support."
She adds: "A low-sugar version would boost sales, as would new packaging. Where other manufacturers are making packaging more dynamic and adding sports caps, Oasis is still in glass jars with tin lids like some pasta sauce brand."