Coca-Cola quietly discontinued multiple fan-favorite soda flavors

It’s not always easy to know when Coca-Cola or PepsiCo gets rid of a soda brand. That’s because not every flavor makes it to all of the chain’s hundreds of thousands of retail and restaurant partners.

Just because your local Walmart, WaWa, or 7-Eleven doesn’t offer your favorite flavor doesn’t mean it has been discontinued. Retailers make choices as to which beverages they offer in what configurations.

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That means that just because you can’t find a Coca-Cola (KO) – Get Free Report product does not mean that it no longer exists. That can be frustrating for fans of some of the brand’s less popular flavors.

Sometimes people resort to the internet to ask people if a beloved soda exists or if the company has stopped making it. That’s a fair question given that Coca-Cola has been brutal when it comes to managing its product offering since the covid pandemic.

In October 2020, the beverage giant cut nearly half of its soda brands, but it did not fullly say which ones aside from some of the bigger names.

“The company expects to offer a portfolio of approximately 200 master brands, an approximate 50% reduction from the current number, and phase out some products, such as Zico and Tab,” Coca-Cola shared in a press release.

It was a sad day for many people, but those aren’t the only cuts the beverage giant has made.

Fanta has been a sort of secondary line for Coca-Cola.

Image source: Pixabay.

Coca-Cola slashes popular Fanta flavors

Fans of Coca-Cola’s Fanta line have often been frustrated with how the company treats the brand. It’s sort of a secondary line that does not receive the same marketing support as Coke, Sprite, and Diet Coke/Coke Zero Sugar. 

Most retail outlets that partner with the company carry Fanta Grape and Fanta Orange. Those are the line’s core flavors, but Fanta has a pretty wide product offering that can be tough to track. 

That has led social media discussion as to which Fanta flavors have been discontinued.

I have been wondering if the following flavors are still available in the US or if they are totally discontinued. Used to see them 2 years ago but not anymore. All in cans.

Fruit punch, green apple, red apple, wild cherry, mango and maybe another one.

Only see berry, peach, grape, strawberry, orange and pineapple now.

Most of those flavors are no longer made. Mango and Cherry were part of the big 2020 purge but other Fanta flavors have quietly disappeared. The Coca-Cola website shows the current Fanta lineup as Orange, Strawberry, Grape, Peach, Pineapple, Pian Colada, and Berry. There’s also a zero sugar version of Fanta Orange that’s sold.

That means that in addition to Mango and Cherry, Fruit Punch, Green Apple, and  Red Apple have been quietly discontinued. Coca-Cola could bring these flavors back — discontinued is relative in the soda world — but, for now, those flavors are no longer sold in the United States.

Some of these flavors may still exist outside the U.S. but while they may share the name, they may not share the recipe. Coca-Cola sometimes uses unique recipes for same-name products based on local taste expectations. 

Coca-Cola changes its strategy

While many of Coca-Cola’s eliminated flavors would be hits for any soda-maker aside from PepsiCo (PEP) – Get Free Report, the company has made the tough decision to focus on fewer brands. It has also changed its marketing strategy in a way that benefits from social-media-friendly partnerships and limited-time offers (LTOs). 

“Our marketing transformation is increasingly making our brands more relevant to consumers. Today, Gen Z spends seven to nine hours per day on screens. However, very little time is spent watching traditional TV,” CEO James Quincey said during Coca-Cola’s third-qusrter eanrings call.

That has led the company to shift more of its advertising budget to digital campaigns. That has included the Coke Creations platform which has featured celebrity partnerships and unique LTO beverages.

“Recently, we launched Coke Y3000, which is our eighth iteration in the Coke Creations platform. Coca-Cola Y3000, the world’s first futuristic flavor co-created with AI. The launch has demonstrated strong initial results,” Quincey shared.

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