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Old 04-01-2002, 03:28 AM   #1
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Vanilla Coke!

http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pag...id=IXLYK5HZ8CC



Coca-Cola in secret plans for vanilla-flavoured drink
By Richard Tomkins, Consumer Industries Editor
Published: March 31 2002 19:51 | Last Updated: March 31 2002 21:05



Coca-Cola, the US soft drinks company, is secretly working on plans to launch a vanilla-flavoured version of its flagship Coke drink.

If the project goes ahead, the new drink - probably named Vanilla Coke - will be the biggest launch of a new Coca-Cola product since the disastrous introduction of New Coke 16 years ago.

Coca-Cola would not confirm or deny it was considering the launch, saying only that "we've always got a number of things in development". But the latest edition of Beverage Digest, a respected industry newsletter, will reach subscribers this week quoting one US bottler as saying: "It's over 90 per cent [certain], and it's a great idea."

John Sicher, Beverage Digest's publisher, said numerous people in the Coca-Cola system had led him to believe there was "a strong chance" the company would launch a vanilla-flavoured cola in the US "within the next few months".

He said the plan was "well beyond the idea stage" and some people had seen working versions of the label. Bottlers he had spoken to were "very enthusiastic" about the project.

Coke is the world's most valuable brand and the Coca-Cola company has traditionally been extremely cautious about extending it to other drinks or products for fear of diluting it.

Although the company introduced a lemon-flavoured version of its Diet Coke last year, the only flavoured version of standard Coke it has ever made is Cherry Coke, launched in March 1985.

However, cola drinks are losing market share to other soft drinks in the US, putting manufacturers under pressure to reinvigorate sales with new products. Last year, according to Beverage Digest, Coke's volume declined 2 per cent in the US in spite of a big increase in advertising.

PepsiCo, maker of Pepsi-Cola, is also feeling the pressure. Pepsi's volume fell 2.8 per cent in the US last year, and the company last summer introduced Pepsi Twist, a lemon-flavoured variant of its flagship drink.

Vanilla Coke already has a popular following in the US. People make it by adding a shot of vanilla syrup - the sort used for flavouring coffee and pouring over desserts - to a glass of ordinary Coke.

It is widely sold in cafes, diners and restaurants, along with other locally flavoured variations of standard Coke such as raspberry, lemon and chocolate.

Coca-Cola's last big launch of a cola product was in April 1985, when the company changed the 99-year-old formula of traditional Coca-Cola and replaced the drink with New Coke. The move caused a national outcry in the US, where it was seen as akin to replacing the Stars and Stripes with a new, improved version.

Coca-Cola was eventually forced to bring back the old formula but ended up with an increased market share.

Douglas Daft, who became Coca-Cola's chairman and chief executive two years ago, is under intense pressure to revitalise the company's flagging growth by improving marketing and introducing new products.


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Old 04-01-2002, 03:55 AM   #2
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according to my mom, when she was a kid (late 50's-early 60's) there WAS such a thing as vanilla coke...weird, man. Maybe she meant a thing that you had to have made by a soda jerk or something. Like, a shirley temple. Okay, I'm officially making no sense...
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Old 04-01-2002, 04:04 AM   #3
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That sounds disgusting!
About as marketable as the cherry pepsi and clear pepsi that was attempted here. I only tried those cos the local Coles was having this huge sale where you got a mixed 6-pack for about $1. I can see why it only lasted about 6 weeks.

Ewwwwwwwww....!
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Old 04-01-2002, 06:30 AM   #4
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EWWWWWW!

If that isn't an April Fool's joke then it really should be.
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Old 04-01-2002, 09:18 AM   #5
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Vanilla Coke is actually really good. A lot of restaurants make it.

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Old 04-01-2002, 11:35 AM   #6
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AngelaH and FizzWizz, don't knock it til you've tried it! I order it all the time. It's exceedingly good.
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Old 04-01-2002, 11:53 AM   #7
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It's damn good.. It's practically the same thing or taste as Captain and Coke.. However I prefer to add a bit of 'Cherry Pucker' into that.. But.. I'm a big fan.

Just another thing.. I found that Captain and Pineapple Juice is pretty sweet too.. However, That's one of those things I can only drink in my room... Can't be going up to the bar ordering that stuff..

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Old 04-01-2002, 11:56 AM   #8
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Old 04-01-2002, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase:
AngelaH and FizzWizz, don't knock it til you've tried it! I order it all the time. It's exceedingly good.
Where do you order this? I need names of place to try it!

Anyone else remember (Spiral?) when they were going to launch OK Cola? They test-marketed it here.
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Old 04-01-2002, 01:25 PM   #10
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I know Johnny Rockets has it. Also, most ice cream places will make it.

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Old 04-01-2002, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by hermes:

If the project goes ahead, the new drink - probably named Vanilla Coke - will be the biggest launch of a new Coca-Cola product since the disastrous introduction of New Coke 16 years ago.
Actually, this wasn't as disastrous as it may seem.

The marketing people all got HUGE raises/bonuses for New Coke. This may confuse some of you. This product failed, people rejected it, Pepsi was cheering that they had "beat" Coca Cola - it seemed like a disaster. But what people didn't see is that there was suddenly a HUGE demand for classic Coke. The rejection for New Coke was so strong, that it spawned a huge swing in sales for the regular Coke. Marketing did their job - they boosted sales big time, and Coca Cola saw this too, and promptly rewarded the marketing people.

Now, all of this could have been serendipitous (i.e., it wasn't originally the plan for Classic Coke sales to get a huge boost, but it happened), but the fact is, it worked.

The same strategy might work here. Some soda drinkers will try the Vanilla Coke out of curiosity. Others will "rebel" and buy more Classic Coke. Either way, it's good marketing.

What I don't get though is why they are calling this the big "new product." Right now, both Coke and Pepsi are pushing their products with a "lemon twist" in them. I like these lemon colas quite a bit (as I often put lemon in my cola anyway). So wouldn't these lemon twists be the big "new product" - not this "Vanilla Coke?"
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Old 04-01-2002, 02:09 PM   #12
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Vanilla Coke? Yum!!

-->Anyone remember NewYork Seltzers?? Vanilla was my favourite.
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Old 04-01-2002, 04:36 PM   #13
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I love vanilla Coke. My girlfriend works at a Bruster's where they have the vanilla syrup. I can add all the flavoring I'd want, but I usually forget the stuff is strongly concentrated so the Coke loses its original taste.
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Old 04-01-2002, 05:13 PM   #14
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Jones Soda makes a vanilla flavoured cola too. I like their pictures. I want to submit one of Adam for the label. But then too many people would want that flavour, and there would be rioting.

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Old 04-01-2002, 05:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by zonelistener:
Where do you order this? I need names of place to try it!

Anyone else remember (Spiral?) when they were going to launch OK Cola? They test-marketed it here.
Any 50's-themed place will have it for sure. As meegannie mention, Johnny Rockets has it (Mall of America food court), but I've only had it there once and they put in way too much syrup and it was pretty bad. Let's see...there are some Denny's around that have sort of a 50's theme. I've ordered it there. There's one on the south-side of 494, I think it's at the Portland Ave. exit in the Bloominton/Richfield area. The service is astonishingly bad, but you can get a vanilla coke. They'll make one for you at Caribou and I would guess at any other coffee house where they have vanilla syrup. I think I've ordered it successfully at TGI Friday's (at least the one in Woodbury). I'm surprised how many places will make you one if you ask.

On to OK Cola....Yes! I had totally forgotten about it, but I do remember it. I've only lived here for 2 years, but when I was in college I worked at a camp near Hinckley with a ton of people from the twin cities and one summer everyone had 12 packs of OK Cola. I don't even really remember if I liked it or not, but the cans were very cool.

And for the rest of you...get out your Minnesota maps and find out where Bloomington, Richfield, Woodbury, and Hinckley are.
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