Coca-Cola Co. (KO) plans to test mid-calorie versions of its lemon-lime Sprite and orange Fanta sodas in a few markets, trade publication Beverage Digest reported Monday, citing sources.
The drinks will be called "Sprite Select" and "Fanta Select," and be offered in a "very limited" test in just a few stores in Memphis, Tenn., Detroit; Louisville, Ky., and Atlanta. They will contain half the calories of regular versions of Sprite an Fanta, and will be sweetened with a blend of natural sweeteners.
Coca-Cola spokesman Scott Williamson told Dow Jones Newswires that "it's a limited test of two new formulations to see if they might appeal to consumers."
Coca-Cola's reduced-calorie sodas come as two other large soda companies are testing similar products, which they hope will attract consumers who don't like the taste of diet sodas but want to consume fewer calories. PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) recently started selling Pepsi Next, a reduced-calorie cola, nationwide. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS), meanwhile, has been selling a 10-calorie version of Dr Pepper, called Dr Pepper Ten, since last year, and is also testing low-calorie versions of five other of its sodas.
-By Paul Ziobro, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2194; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @pziobro