Global soft drinks behemoth the Coca-Cola Company is pulling the plug on its Vanilla Coke and Vanilla Diet Coke brands in the UK next spring.

Despite launching just two years ago, the beverages will be replaced with Diet Coke with Cherry, plus the lime and lemon variant.

Many industry consultants view this as a kneejerk reaction to a downturn in consumer interest for sweet carbonated drinks, and an increased demand for health and diet beverages.

San Francisco-based drink analyst Manny Goldman argues: "This means that Vanilla Coke has been doing badly and it is not working and not having the visibility that there is a decent chance that it will work longer term."

Atlanta-headquartered Coca-Cola's first quarter profits fell this year, reflecting a slow-down in North American sales. However, a sales boom in markets outside the US, especially China and Mexico, saw second quarter profits rise by 9%.

Ceo Neville Isdell remains cautious and claimed 2005 was "a transition year" for the company.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff