|Manufacturer||The Coca-Cola Company|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Variants||Diet Coke Cherry, Coca-Cola Cherry Zero|
|Related products||Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla|
Coca-Cola Cherry, originally introduced (and still widely referred to as) as Cherry Coke, is a cherry-flavored version of Coca-Cola. It is produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company and its bottlers in the United States and some international markets.
Long before its official introduction in 1985, many diners and drugstore soda fountains dispensed an unofficial version of Cherry Coke by adding cherry-flavored syrup to the Coca-Cola mix; this drink is called cherry cola.
Coca-Cola tested Cherry Coke on an audience at the 1982 World's Fair. After the introduction of Cherry Coke and the failure of New Coke the drink then entered mainstream production during the summer of 1985. Cherry Coke, which by 2007 had been renamed Coca-Cola Cherry in the U.S. and some other countries, was the third variation of Coca-Cola at that time – the others being Coca-Cola Classic and Diet Coke – and the first flavored Coke. It was released almost concurrently with the far less popular New Coke, and gained significant market share when that product was widely discontinued in the 1990s. Diet Cherry Coke was introduced in 1986, and renamed "Diet Coke Cherry" in 2005. A second low-calorie version, Coca-Cola Cherry Zero (based on Coca-Cola Zero), was added in 2007. The Coca-Cola Company would later introduce other flavored Coke variants, beginning with Vanilla Coke in May 2002, later followed by lime, raspberry, lemon, Black Cherry Vanilla and orange variants. Many of these are currently only sold in overseas markets and/or are microdispensed through Coca-Cola's Freestyle vending machines.
Coca-Cola Cherry has been offered in a number of different countries. Currently, in addition to the U.S., the drink is available in China, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Germany, Belgium (only in cans and bottles of 1 litre), Denmark, France, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Croatia, South Africa, South Korea, Bulgaria, and Peru. It is also available in Japan and Poland, but is still known as Cherry Coke in those countries. Until recently it was only available in Ireland through British pharmaceutical chains such as Boots and Superdrug, however it returned officially to the country in 2014. In New Zealand Coca-Cola Cherry can be found in some supermarkets (usually imported from the UK or US). In the past the product has been offered in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Canada, Colombia, Latvia, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Israel. The Australian version was released between 2003 and 2004 and was a different mix to the US version. It is no longer bottled in these countries, although the U.S. product is imported by some Canadian convenience stores near the Canada-U.S. border, as well as by IGA, Costco and specialty retailers in Australia. In Sweden it is available at different grocery stores. The grocery stores source import from the United States and the self-produced Coca Cola Cherry from Coca Cola enterprises Sweden. In Norway, Cherry Coke is available at Reitan Group stores.
Since January 2011, Coca-Cola Cherry is also available in Switzerland distributed by Coop. Since July 2013 Coca-Cola Cherry is available in Croatia, Romania and Spain. It returned to Canada by the 2013 holiday season in Costco stores. It featured the same flavour and formula, with a bilingual version of the American can. It returned to Canadian Costco stores in 2014, along with a special limited run at Target Canada stores in Ontario.
As of July 2014 Coca-Cola Cherry is available in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (due to same label for the three countries). The label is same as regular coke but with different cherry color and cherry word below Coca-cola with an image of Cherry to the left of the word "cherry". Later in late 2014, it was introduced in Uruguay (only in cans).
Packaging and marketing
Packaging for Coca-Cola Cherry differs greatly from country to country. In most areas, the current can and bottle label designs are based on the standard Coca-Cola label in a pink or purple hue, often with images of cherries.
On February 7, 2007, Coca-Cola launched a new campaign for the Coca-Cola Cherry brand in the U.S., resulting in a significant redesign of the product's label. Jay-Z was chosen to be the spokesman and played a part in designing the new can graphics. A new diet version, Coca-Cola Cherry Zero, was also introduced, although the original Diet Coke Cherry will remain available in 12-packs. These designs remained in place until early 2011, when a cleaner design (closer to the label designs used overseas) was introduced.
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