‘Memories of carefree summer days’: Coca-Cola launches Orange Vanilla Coke

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

‘Memories of carefree summer days’: Coca-Cola launches Orange Vanilla Coke
Coca-Cola is launching its first new Coca-Cola trademark flavor innovations in a decade in the US this month: with Orange Vanilla Coke and Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar.

The two new flavors will hit shelves on February 25th​.

Orange Vanilla Coke was developed in less than a year, beating off other flavor potentials of raspberry, lemon and ginger. “We wanted to bring back positive memories of carefree summer days,” ​said Kate Carpenter, brand director, Coca-Cola. “That’s why we leaned into the orange-vanilla flavor combination – which is reminiscent of the creamy orange popsicles we grew up loving, but in a classically Coke way.”

Coke Orange Vanilla was launched in Canada last year, along with Coke Orange No Sugar in Australia – and Coca-Cola reports that ‘consumers in both markets loved the taste’.

Flavor potential

While trademark Coca-Cola is one of the strongest brands in the world, Carpenter says the potential of additional flavors has not been embraced to date.

Cherry Coke (launched in 1985) and Vanilla Coke (launched in 2007), along with their zero-calorie variants – have seen ‘strong growth’ in recent years with only limited marketing support, she says.

But despite this, only 12% of Coca-Cola drinkers have been choosing flavors: “This showed us our fans want choice but are getting it outside the Coke Trademark,” ​says Carpenter.

Orange Vanilla Coke:

140 calories per 12oz serving

Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar:

0 calories per 12oz serving

In 2018 Coca-Cola rebranded and relaunched Diet Coke, complete with the launch of four flavors: Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange, Twisted Mango and Ginger Lime (the portfolio has just been joined by Blueberry Acai and Strawberry Guava​). Coca-Cola says that such flavor innovation has been one of the contributing factors in turning the brand around and back to volume growth.

With the new Coca-Cola Orange Vanilla being developed in less than a year, Coca-Cola says this proves the company can be as agile as smaller counterparts: The launch is the latest example of us listening to what consumers want and offering an array choices that satisfy a variety of changing tastes and lifestyles – and moving quickly and taking smart risks to bring more drinks to market."

Like the flagship Coca-Cola drink, Orange Vanilla is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup and a 12 fl oz can contains 140 calories and 39g sugar. Orange Vanilla Zero Sugar is sweetened with aspartame and acesulphame potassium (as is Coca-Cola Zero Sugar). 

Orange Vanilla Coke and Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar will be available in 12-oz cans and 20-oz PET bottles; as well as at Freestyle fountain dispensers (initially exclusively at Wendy’s restaurants). Promotional 12-oz. sleek cans of Orange Vanilla Coke, Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar, Cherry Coke and Cherry Coke Zero Sugar will be available for a limited time.

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