Prepared Foods August 8, 2005 enewsletter

Beverage giant Coca-Cola is to launch its own equivalent of Red Bull to tackle the high energy drinks market in the United Kingdom. Sprite3G, a derivative of the popular Sprite, will be sold in silver cans bearing its name on a bright green logo.

The carbonated soft drink will include the stimulants glucose, caffeine and guarana and is expected to hit some shops as early as next month, Marketing Week reported.

It is understood that Sprite3G will be sold in U.K. supermarkets by January next year after a high-profile, multi-million dollar advertising campaign.

An industry source said, "Coca-Cola will rely on Sprite branding to ensure the success of this variant, but it will depend on the drink's taste -- the market needs a good-tasting energy drink.

"Consumers drink Red Bull because of the function it serves, rather than because it tastes good.

"It has a mighty stranglehold on the category."

Also set for U.K. markets is a new Coca-Cola offering for dieters. The new beverage is said to speed up the body's metabolism, which in turn burns calories. Details of the drink are being kept secret, but it is thought it will be called Enviga.

Reports say it will come in several flavors, including green tea, and contain caffeine. Other varieties planned are lemon, lime and orange. Studies show that green tea may promote weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories. Drinking a 500ml bottle could use 75 calories.

Source: Press Association (U.K.); The Express (U.K.)