Coca-Cola Vanilla

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Coca-Cola Vanilla
Vanilla cola can.png
Type Vanilla flavored Cola
Manufacturer The Coca-Cola Company
Country of origin United States
Introduced 1950s as a fountain drink
2002 as packaged
Variants Diet Vanilla Coke, Coke Vanilla Zero
Related products Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla, Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola with Lime

Coca-Cola Vanilla is a vanilla flavored version of Coca-Cola soft drink introduced in the early 2000s. In 2003 Pepsi introduced their version Pepsi Vanilla, to compete with Vanilla Coke. It was introduced in 2002 but subsequently discontinued in North America and the United Kingdom in 2006, but remained available as fountain drink during that time. It was relaunched in the US in 2007 and in the UK in 2013. Coca-Cola announced that it would be Limited Edition in the UK, however due to strong sales, it is now staying within the UK Beverage market, becoming a permanent flavor.

Sales of Coca-Cola Vanilla began in Spain, France and Germany in June 2013.

Development[edit]

Ordinary Coca-Cola already contains small amounts of vanilla. The history of adding additional vanilla flavoring to Coca-Cola, at least in the US, dates back at least to the 1940s when local soda fountain workers (soda jerks) would upon request add a "shot" (roughly two tablespoons) of vanilla syrup to a (12-16 oz) Coca-Cola fountain soda. For decades, this remained common practice in ice cream shops where vanilla syrup and Coca-Cola were both available. The Coca-Cola Company first tested a Coca-Cola blend with extra vanilla flavoring at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.[1] After the introduction of Cherry Coke and the failure of New Coke, the company was hesitant to introduce anything radically new. It was not until early April 2002 that rumors began to circulate that the company was planning a new variation to their classic soft drink. The Coca-Cola Company was tight lipped regarding the details of the new beverage, commenting to a London based newspaper, "We've always got a number of things in development," leaving open speculation for what was to develop.[2] It was later revealed that testing for a vanilla flavor had been completed and that the new beverage would be available in months. However, in late April 2002 the company announced that Vanilla Coke would be produced as early as May.[3]

Marketing campaign[edit]

The marketing campaign for Vanilla Coke aimed to appeal across all generations. Yolanda Ball, brand manager for Coca-Cola Classic, said, "We had to learn how to balance the newness of vanilla with the established qualities of Coca-Cola".[4] Vanilla Coke debuted at the Vanilla Bean Café, locally known as "the Bean," in Pomfret, Connecticut. The diet variety would be directed primarily at women. The first public tasting of Vanilla Coke took place in the Buckhead district of Atlanta at the Three Dollar Cafe with Atlanta radio station Q100 and their morning hosts from The Bert Show.

One of the first notable advertisements was a television ad created by The Martin Agency which was based upon the product's original campaign line of "Reward Your Curiosity". The ad featured actor Chazz Palminteri, in which he and another man pull a teenager (played by a young Aaron Paul) into an alley after catching him peering into a hole. Palminteri gives the boy a Vanilla Coke, as a reward for his curiosity. Their former website rewardyourcuriosity.com went along with the campaign and drew a large interest at the time. (In the Philippine version of the ad, Palminteri's role was done by the late actor Johnny Delgado.) Ms. Ball described the ad: "We were trying to create something new and intriguing . . . half of it was about new, different and change of pace, and the rest of it was about how people love and trust Coca-Cola. But we didn't have to say New from Coca-Cola. We didn't have to hit them over the head with it."[4]

Distribution[edit]

The company began mass-producing Vanilla Coke on 15 May 2002. The Coca-Cola Company announced in early 2002 that Vanilla Coke would be introduced initially in the United States with distribution starting May 15, 2002, followed by a rollout in Canada. The introduction of vanilla flavor was hailed by The Coca-Cola Company as "the greatest innovation since Diet Coke in 1983".[5] It also marked the 116th anniversary of the Coca-Cola Company.[6] Later that year, it was introduced to the Norwegian, Swedish, and Icelandic markets of Europe. This was the first Coca-Cola variety introduced in Norway since Coca-Cola itself in 1937 and Coca-Cola Light in 1983.[7] As of 2003, Vanilla Coke was marketed in several European countries as well as Australia and New Zealand (in mid-to-late-2002). By late 2003, the company had marketed Vanilla Coke in over 30 countries around the globe.

Reception and discontinuation[edit]

Its inaugural year in 2002 saw its best sales. It is estimated that the product was purchased by about 29% of all United States households that year. It still remains popular along with its flavored partner, Cherry Coca Cola.[8] Doubt was cast over the future of Vanilla Coke and its splinter beverages when the company announced the 2004 sales figures: 35 million unit cases in North America compared to 90 million in 2002; Vanilla Diet Coke dropped from 23 million unit cases in its inaugural year (2003) to 13 in 2004.[9]

A 1.25L bottle from Australia.

In November 2005, after slumping sales, The Coca-Cola Company announced that Vanilla Coke would be discontinued in North America and Great Britain by the end of the year.[9] Coca-Cola introduced Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke in North America in January 2006. At the time, the company said Vanilla Coke and Diet Vanilla Coke would possibly be made available again in the future:[9] "We are exploring ways to bring them back at another time, but right now Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke are what consumers are telling us they want."[10] Vanilla Coke beverages were never discontinued in some markets, such as Australia, France, Russia, Malaysia, and Germany.

From 19 February 2007, Vanilla Coke was re-introduced into New Zealand.[11] The official re-introduction of Vanilla Coke in the US began May 25, 2007 at the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. The Coca-Cola Company announced a partnership with Edy's Ice Cream to co-advertise with Coke on the launch, and featured a 10-ton Vanilla Coke float, which was certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest ice cream float in the world.[12] A Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero has also been introduced. The re-released Coca-Cola Vanilla features a new packaging design. The advertising campaign for the revival used an instrumental cover of "Welcome Back". In 2007, Vanilla Coke was also introduced into China. It was also introduced in other countries in Europe and Asia. In June 2010, certain convenience stores in Ontario, Canada have re-introduced it by importing it from the neighbouring United States. Coca-Cola has made Coke Vanilla available in their Freestyle beverage machine in Canada, however, bottled and canned versions are not yet available.

Advert celebrating the re-launch of Coca-Cola Vanilla on the side of a double-decker bus in London.

Coca-Cola initially stated that it had no plans to return Coca-Cola Vanilla to the United Kingdom despite high demand. Several enquiries were made throughout 2011 and 2012. Coca Cola then thought about returning Vanilla Coca-Cola to the United Kingdom sooner or later. They eventually announced[citation needed] that they would definitely bring the beverage back to the United Kingdom in the future, some time soon, which was predicted mid-2012, or early-2013. Coca Cola announced that the vanilla flavor would be for sale in the UK from March 2013, after the flavour's success on the Coca-Cola Freestyle refillable machine in Burger King.[citation needed] It was reintroduced on March as part of Papa Johns promotion campaign before becoming available elsewhere.[citation needed] There are no plans for Coca-Cola Vanilla to return to the Republic of Ireland, as stated by Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola have stated that the market for the beverage is not large enough for it to make a return to the Republic of Ireland. In May 2013 Coca-Cola Vanilla appeared in stores in Romania. In July 2013, the drink re-appeared in stores around Belgium and the Netherlands as well. In October 2013 Coca-Cola Vanilla appeared in stores in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Product information[edit]

Nutritional[edit]

Empty bottle and can of Vanilla Coke
Average quantity per 12 oz
(~355 mL)
per 100 mL
(~3.4 oz)
Energy 150 calories 44 calories
Protein 0 g 0 g
Fat, total 0 g 0 g
- saturated 0 g 0 g
Carbohydrates 41.3 g 11.0 g
- sugars 40.9 g 10.9 g
Sodium 35 mg 10 mg

Packaging[edit]

2007 U.S. Vanilla Coke bottles.

Vanilla Coke was packaged in standard bottles in accordance with appropriate Coca-Cola packaging. For a brief period of time in mid-2003, the bottles that Vanilla Coke came in, which had before said Vanilla Coke, were changed simply to V (which matched Cherry Coke's new labeling showing a picture of a cherry).

Varieties[edit]

  • Coca-Cola Vanilla (2002-2006 and 2007–present)
  • Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero (2007–present)
  • Diet Coke Vanilla (2002-2006)

In late 2002, a sugar-free version, Diet Vanilla Coke, became available. In some countries, including Australia and New Zealand, a similar drink is marketed as "Diet Coke with Vanilla" and in others is known as Coca-Cola light Vanilla (or Vanilla Coke Light) In 2005, the sugar-free product in the United States and Canada became "Diet Coke Vanilla," with more emphasis on the Diet Coke label. All varieties were discontinued in 2006 in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Both varieties are still available in Australia and Hong Kong, Coca-Cola Vanille (translation) is also available in France and Germany. A new Coke Vanilla Zero was introduced in 2007, along with regular Vanilla. Only these two are available in the United States. The company has not announced any plan to resume production of Diet Vanilla Coke.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Soft Drinks: I Gave My Love a Cherry Coke". Time. 4 March 1985. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  2. ^ How about Vanilla Coke? CNN Money. 1 April 2002. Retrieved 11 January 2006.
  3. ^ Coca-Cola unveils Vanilla Coke CNN Money. April 15, 2002. Retrieved 2006-09-22.
  4. ^ a b Howard, T Coke pops top on new colas USA Today. 14 October 2002. Retrieved 2006-09-22.
  5. ^ Shea, S Coke adds Vanilla B and T. October 18, 2002. Retrieved 11 January 2006
  6. ^ "http://www.virtualvender.coca-cola.com/ft/index.jsp?brand_id=270". Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Vanilla Coke lanseres i Norge Dagligvarehandelen.com. 11 November 2002. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  8. ^ Bhatnagar, P Joy of (Vanilla) Pepsi? CNN Money. 4 November 2005. Retrieved 11 January 2006.
  9. ^ a b c Coca-Cola extracting Vanilla Coke in U.S. MSN. November 4, 2005
  10. ^ Coke ditches three flavours in US BBC News. 4 November 2005. Retrieved 11 January 2006.
  11. ^ Vanilla Coke is Back! Coca-Cola New Zealand. 19 February 2007.
  12. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]