A multi-million pound programme of activity has been announced by Coca-Cola European Partners as it plans to reach “more consumers, on more occasions, every day in 2019”.

Expansion of its light colas portfolio sees the launch of two new flavours - Coca-Cola zero sugar Raspberry and Diet Coke Twisted Strawberry. The launch will be backed by a £7m marketing campaign spanning OOH, digital and TV, and more than two million consumers will have the opportunity to taste the new variants through sampling activity throughout the year.

The new flavours follow last year’s launch of Coca-Cola zero sugar Peach, plus Diet Coke flavours Exotic Mango and Feisty Cherry.

Simon Harrison, vice president, commercial development at CCEP GB, said: “Our light flavoured colas are increasingly popular with consumers who are looking to try new and exciting variants of their favourite soft drinks. They are also an example of how we are energising our core brands as we continue on our journey to becoming a total beverage company.

“A staggering 7.4 million households in GB buy flavoured colas. This equates to an increase of 1.7million buyers over the last year adding +30% growth to flavoured colas in 2018 (Kantar), demonstrating the clear opportunity for more flavour variety within this well-established soft drink sector. We are the only cola brand to offer these unique flavour combinations and they come following authentic consumer requests on social media. Purchase intent research has also been high so we expect to see a positive reaction from cola drinkers in the coming weeks and months.”

An addition to the Fanta portfolio – Fanta Grape Zero – will be launching in March and will be available in a 330ml can and a 500ml PET bottle for instant consumption occasions, and 4x330ml can multipack and 2L PET bottle for future consumption. It will also be supported by Fanta’s 2019 £5m marketing investment which will feature social media, digital and out-of-home activations, as well as nationwide consumer sampling to almost a quarter of a million people.

This latest innovation follows a raft of activity for Fanta over the past two years, including an overall brand refresh in 2017, annual Halloween campaigns and the success of its limited-edition Blood Orange Zero and Pink Grapefruit Zero variants, which won the ‘Fanta Flavour Election’ in 2018 following more than 150,000 votes from consumers.

Harrison said: “Fanta is one of our leading brands - 33% of young adults aged between 16-19 drink Fanta in Great Britain and we know that innovative, great-tasting flavours are key to remaining relevant with this audience while attracting new shoppers.”

A sixth variant has been added to CCEP’s Monster Energy Ultra range – Blue, described as a sparkling, citrus and berry, low-calorie energy drink.

Harrison said: “Last year was a landmark year for Monster as the brand reached a milestone of more than £200million (Nielsen) retail sales in GB thanks to a growing core range, innovative new flavours and impactful marketing campaigns. This year is set to be even bigger as we continue to innovate and evolve our portfolio in line with consumer demand.”

Monster Energy is also set to shake up the cold RTD coffee segment with the launch of a new range, designed to appeal to both coffee drinkers and energy drink lovers. Available in a black 250ml can, two variants will be launched in March – Espresso & Milk and Vanilla Espresso.

“Espresso Monster is a real step-change for the brand but has already proven extremely popular following a retail trial at the end of 2018,” commented Harrison. “The product is unique as it is the only cold coffee drink on the market with caffeine content that can rival a hot coffee, giving consumers the great-tasting energy boost that they’re looking for in a cold coffee format.

“The new variant will enable us to attract new drinkers to both the energy and RTD coffee sectors, while delighting Monster’s core fan base with our continued investment into exciting and great tasting innovation. This, combined with the current growth of cold coffee RTD drinks and the energy sector, makes now the ideal time to bring Espresso Monster to market.”

CCEP has also unveiled a cherry-flavoured addition to the 330ml Capri-Sun range. The Capri-Sun Cherry variant will also feature a new safety cap that will be introduced across the 330ml Capri-Sun range in 2019 and will come in cardboard shelf-ready-packaging that displays key product messages to shoppers.