Coke launches Snapple rival

Snapple’s foothold in the UK market is under threat from Coca-Cola’s planned ú3.7m launch of its lookalike Fruitopia range.

Snapple’s foothold in the UK market is under threat from Coca-Cola’s planned £3.7m launch of its lookalike Fruitopia range.

Coca-Cola confirmed long running rumours this week by naming May 1 for the UK launch of its range of New Age mixed-fruit drinks. The Fruitopia brand was launched in the US last year.

Six Fruitopia flavours will come out on May Day. Although new fruit combinations have been developed to suit UK tastes, the drinks will keep their hippy US image with names such as Mind over Mango, Citrus Bliss and Banana Vanilla Rapture.

Creative work in the UK will be developed by Chiat Day through a £3.7m campaign. The drink’s US “hip, vibrant and upbeat” positioning will be maintained, says Cola-Cola.

Fruitopia is similar to the Quaker-owned Snapple range, which launched in the UK last year. Cola-Cola uses a “Snapplesque” glass bottle for its range, and its upbeat, hippy marketing campaign has parallels with Snapple’s.

Snapple has yet to expand out of the London area, and spent only £1m through Banks Hoggins O’Shea last year. However, the company says it is not worried by Coca-Cola’s multimillion marketing push. “Snapple is built by consumers, not by marketing,” says a Snapple spokesman.

More UK Coke launches are expected. Gavin Darby, president of Coca-Cola North-west Europe, says it is “very possible” that another launch will happen this year. OK Soda is widely expected to make its UK debut soon, although Darby says future UK product launches will not necessarily come from the US.

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