Ginger Sprite tested in China

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[Shanghai] Coca-Cola Cos. is testing a ginger-flavored version of Sprite in six cities in mainland China including Shanghai using the tagline "A burning sensation, can you stand it?" The debut of what Coke calls Sprite on Fire was timed for winter because Chinese often consume fresh ginger in cold weather to warm their bodies. To demonstrate the fragrant root's power, Coke is selling the drink in key Shanghai areas from transparent retail kiosks staffed by women wearing short skirts. Coke earlier introduced Sprite on Fire in Hong Kong with commercials by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, Hong Kong. That work is being adapted for mainland China.

In the U.S., Coke has done a variety of Sprite flavors, including Sprite Remix, a brand that "remixes" the flavor each year. Although per capita consumption of Coke products in China hovers around 10 units per year, compared to more than 400 in the U.S., the densely populated country is Coke's sixth-largest market by volume.

Coke has said the company expects China to become its third-largest operation within five years, in part through the introduction of new products such as Ginger Sprite, as well as new tea, water and juice brands. Nestea, for instance, was launched in 2003 and Minute Maid in 2004.

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