Having announced last week it will axe Vanilla Coke in the UK next year [WAMN: 07-Nov-05], Coca-Cola is also to drop the line and its diet variant across North America early in 2006, along with sibling product Diet Coke with Lemon.

The Atlanta-headquartered beverages behemoth will fill the stateside brand gap with two new flavours: Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke.

"With well over 250 million cases sold, Vanilla Coke and Diet Vanilla Coke have been significant contributors for three years," says Coke spoke Katie Bayne.

"We are exploring ways to bring them [the axed brands] 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."

Agrees Gary Hemphill, managing director of Beverage Marketing: "It is a rapidly changing beverage landscape and it is important for Coke to move quickly to deliver on what the consumer wants. The competition for shelf space is intense."

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff