The battle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi to win share of the flavoured cola category looks set to hot up even further with the UK launch this month of Diet Coke with Lime.
The brand is being rolled out across stores after becoming the number one flavoured diet cola in the US, where it launched in January last year.
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) claims resulting volumes in the US were 30% ahead of plan after just 10 months, exceeding trial for Diet Vanilla Coke and Pepsi Vanilla Diet.
The launch of Diet Coke with Lime is being backed by a “substantial” marketing budget including a TV campaign from March 14 starring Tort the tortoise, a nationwide poster
campaign, price promotions and more than 30,000 items of point-of-sale material.
The launch is part of CCE’s drive to recruit new consumers and retain existing ones through
offering new flavour alternatives. A spokeswoman for CCE said: “Consumer research here in the UK has revealed a strong demand for Diet Coke with Lime, with extensive pre-launch tests suggesting the new variant will prove extremely popular.”
It follows the launch in January of Pepsi Max Twist, a sugar-free lemon and lime flavoured variant which joins the existing lemon-flavoured Pepsi Twist. PepsiCo is believed to be introducing Pepsi Lime and Diet Pepsi Lime in the US in April or May. A UK roll-out may follow.
Diet Coke with Lemon was launched in the UK in 2002 and is now worth £30.4m. Diet Coke with Vanilla, introduced in 2003, now has a value of £22m. CCE believes the new variant can be just as successful.
CCE has also announced plans to place the light variants of Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper and Lilt under an umbrella brand called Z, standing for Zero Added Sugar.
Claire Hu