Coke introduced Diet Coke with Lemon as a permanent addition to its range last year, followed by Diet Coke with Lime. The variants were launched into the Coca-Cola range earlier this year as limited editions.
But all of the variants will now be axed to make way for an orange flavoured variant, Diet Coke Citrus Zest (MW last week).
The company feels flavour variants constantly rotated keep its incremental sales of carbonated drinks high, and is prepared to delist products as soon as there are signs of initial sales dropping.
A retail source says Coke’s 2007 strategy is “disappointing and uninspiring” as there are no plans for a major product launch and no news of the water brand that was expected to be launched in January (MW August 1).
The source says: “I’m disappointed Coke hasn’t made progress with the water and it’s now highly unlikely it will be ready for launch inside the first quarter of next year.”
The source adds that Coke does seem to be listening to industry feedback on the need for innovation and investment in its healthier products.
Plans for next year include a high-juice version of Capri-Sun, the addition of low-sugar flavours to the Oasis juice drink range, and clearer messaging on the labels and packaging of Minute Maid.