ATLANTA — Coca-Cola Co. has announced plans to introduce Orange Vanilla Coke and Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar, the first new flavors in over a decade. The new products will be available beginning on February 25 in a range of packaging options.
Kate Carpenter, brand director for Coca-Cola, said the 2016 launch of the One Brand strategy – which combined all Coca-Cola variants under a common visual identity and creative campaign – showcased the breadth of the brand. Following the relaunch of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in 2017, the trademark team began to explore additional growth opportunities.
“What we realized is that we had a diamond in the rough when we looked at our flavors portfolio,” Carpenter said. “The growth of Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke – and their zero-calorie variants – has been really strong in recent years even with very limited marketing support.
“We knew we had an opportunity to give fans the variety they crave without sacrificing the Coca-Cola taste they love,” Carpenter said.
The team considered three other flavors – raspberry, lemon and ginger. But the combination of orange and vanilla emerged as the favorite in focus groups. Last summer, Coke Orange No Sugar launched in Australia and Coke Orange Vanilla was available in Canada.
“We wanted to bring back positive memories of carefree summer days,” Carpenter explained. “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.”
The company said it is planning a full marketing campaign in the coming weeks to support the launch across TV, social, digital, outdoor, mobile, radio and experiential. Basketball fans across the U.S. will see Orange Vanilla Coke and Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar in stores and on the ground around NCAA March Madness.
“Our brief for the campaign was to have fun with flavors,” Carpenter said. “We think this work brings to life the Coca-Cola personality in a playful, unexpected way.”
Orange Vanilla Coke and Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar will be available in 12-ounce cans and 20-ounce PET bottles. The new flavor also will be available exclusively at Wendy’s restaurants in Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispensers through the end of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament before rolling out nationally across all freestyle units.
Promotional 12-ounce 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. Coke Orange Vanilla and Cherry Coke also will be offered in half-liter 6-packs.
The company said it updated the names of Coca-Cola Cherry Zero (now Coca-Cola Cherry Zero Sugar), Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero (now Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero Sugar) and Caffeine-Free Coke Zero (now Caffeine-Free Coke Zero Sugar) to be consistent with the Coke Zero Sugar branding. All Coca-Cola flavors now share a similar packaging design to promote the full range of options.
“We realized our flavors were hiding in plain sight,” Carpenter said. “So we want Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke to come along for the ride and be top of mind for variety seekers.”