Retailers have criticised Coca-Cola for investing £2.5m promoting its limited edition variants because the products are a “waste of time” and have little impact on sales.
The comments come as Coca-Cola prepares to launch Coke Orange next month.
The new product aims to reinvigorate interest in the declining carbonates market. It will be available for three months as part of its Coke Side of Summer campaign.
One retail source says: “They are a waste of time and a pain in the neck. I don’t know why Coke bothers with them.”
In the past, retailers have called for Coke and its rivals to reduce the amount of time that limited edition drinks are available. Sources say that a month would be long enough as the products are only aimed at “keeping up brand awareness”.
One insider adds: “Limited editions have very little impact on sales. We will stock them but it’s just a case of getting them in and out quickly.” Limited editions such as Coke with Lime have initially boosted sales but have rapidly tailed off, although Coke maintains that the strategy boosts interest in the carbonated market.
It adds that Coke with Lime was a success and a significant amount of launch sales represented new customers.
Coca-Cola Orange will be available in 330ml cans and 500ml glass bottles.