The future of Cola-Cola’s fledgling Diet Coke Plus brand is in doubt after a number of supermarket chains have delisted the product from the shelves, less than a year after it was launched.
However, it is still not clear if Coke will remove the product from the UK market altogether.
The functional drinks brand, which is marketed as containing vitamins and minerals, was launched as an attempt to bolster its healthy drinks portfolio, which also includes Coke Zero, launched in 2006.
At the time of launch, Coca-Cola Enterprises head of marketing Anita Huntley said the product was aimed at giving female drinkers of Diet Coke the functional benefits increasingly being demanded by health-conscious consumers.
However, three industry insiders have confirmed that they are either finishing off stock of Diet Coke Plus or have already stopped stocking it.
One retail source said it has decided to de-list Diet Coke Plus due to “poor sales”, while another said he had thought the line had been discontinued in the UK.
Coca-Cola would not comment on whether it would be scrapping the brand. A spokesman says: “We are aware of a retailer de-listing a variant. Diet Coke Plus continues to be stocked in a number of major retailers and enjoyed by consumers.”
In May last year, Coca-Cola acquired US drinks company Energy Brands, which manufactures functional water brand Glaceau Vitamin Water, for $4.1bn (£2.1bn).
Glaceau was launched in the UK this summer, with Coke moving quickly to push the brand into several retail outlets. It competes directly with PepsiCo’s brand V Water.