Coca-Cola to launch new beverages with black cherry twist

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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ATLANTA — Coca-Cola North America on Friday said it will introduce Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke in January 2006. At the same time, Coca-Cola plans to phase out Vanilla Coke and Diet Vanilla Coke at the end of this year.

The simultaneous launch of Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke is a first for Coca-Cola North America.

"Cherry- flavored beverages are experiencing significant growth as are no calorie soft drinks," said Katie Bayne, senior vice-president, Coca-Cola Trademark, Coca- Cola North America. "Our innovative fusion of real cola, luscious black cherry, and smooth vanilla flavors creates a taste that is complex and delicious."

Diet Cherry Coke and Cherry Coke will not be affected by this introduction, the company said.

"Consumers have made Diet Cherry Coke and Cherry Coke leaders in their respective categories, so we are expanding our popular family of cherry-flavored soft drinks to include Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke," Ms. Bayne said.

Vanilla Coke and Diet Vanilla Coke will go on hiatus at year’s end, but may be made available again in the future, the company said.

"With well over 250 million cases sold, Vanilla Coke and Diet Vanilla Coke have been significant contributors for three years," Ms. Bayne noted. "We are exploring ways to bring them back at another time, but right now Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke are what consumers are telling us they want."

Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke will feature a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium (ace-k). Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke will be the sixth member of the Diet Coke family, which includes the flagship Diet Coke, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lime, Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda Brand Sweetener, and Diet Cherry Coke.

Both Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke will be available in a range of package sizes and will be supported by a variety of marketing programs. Further details on launch plans will be made available closer to the introduction, the company said.

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