|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 known in some countries) 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 in 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 classic Coke and Diet Coke – and the first flavored Coke. It was released concurrently with the far less popular New Coke, and gained significant market share when that product was discontinued in 1992. 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), 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. It is available in Ireland through British pharmaceutical chains such as Boots and Superdrug. 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, Denmark, Latvia, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. 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 and onwards in Costco stores. It features the same flavour and formula, with a bilingual version of the American can.
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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