PARIS: Coca-Cola is introducing an adult soft drink brand – Finley – in France in April in what it has described as the "the biggest launch since that of Coca-Cola Zero in 2007".

Extensive research into the target market of 25-45 year olds revealed that just 10% of adults opted for soft drinks when they took a break, with most preferring tea or coffee, Le Figaro reported.

Partly this was because as they had grown older so their tastes had evolved and they were looking for something more sophisticated than fizzy teenage drinks like Fanta. So, subtlety, naturalness and lightness had emerged as the criteria for the four flavours that will be on offer: grapefruit & blood orange, lemon & elderflower, orange & cranberry and tonic water.

The positioning puts Coca-Cola squarely in territory that has hitherto been largely the preserve of rival Schweppes, which Ilan Ouanounou, Coca-Cola commercial vice president, acknowledged was the market leader.

"This is a great brand that is well installed," he said, before adding: "We believe that in this category there is still room and potential for a second drink for adults."

As well as establishing distribution through supermarkets, bars and restaurants, promotional activity will include the handing out of one million samples, according to e-marketing. Digital and 'click and collect' will also feature strongly, while a media campaign will start in May

The parallels with Coke Zero can be seen in a Warc case study. When Coke Zero was introduced in the UK in 2006 it was aimed at male drinkers who wanted a sugar-free product but were reluctant to drink Diet Coke which was associated with women. At that time the launch was deemed the company's biggest since Diet Coke 22 years previously.

Using TV, posters, online and free newspapers, substantial growth was achieved in a short but heavy summer campaign, without the loss of a price premium.

Data sourced from Le Figaro, e-marketing; additional content by Warc staff