Coca-Cola tests Coke with Lemon in U.K.

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[London] Coca-Cola is using the U.K. as a test market for a lemon variant of the main Coke brand. Coca-Cola with Lemon will go on sale in mid-June backed by a marketing campaign from independent London shop Mother, and is likely to roll out to other markets if successful. Julia Goldin, marketing director of Coca-Cola Great Britain, said, "Our research revealed that lemon was a popular choice and an ideal flavor for summer, which is why we are launching it as a limited edition." Diet Coke with Lemon has been on sale in the U.K. since 2002, but Coca-Cola classifies Diet Coke as a separate brand. Coke hopes that Coca-Cola with Lemon will help attract new consumers to the core Coke brand, whose U.K. sales fell by 6% last year. Pepsi launched a lemon variant, called Pepsi Twist, in 2002, but withdrew the product last year due to poor sales. Coca-Cola Great Britain also named Mother to handle the "Z," which stands for "zero added sugar," diet versions of Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper and Lilt launching in May in the U.K. In the U.S., Diet Coke with Lemon had a 0.2% share but lost 40.7% of volume in the first half of 2004 and was easily eclipsed by the introduction of Diet Coke with Lime, which has become the company's best-selling variant with sales of $119 million and inspired the launch of Coke with Lime.
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