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Is Sprite Being Discontinued? The Success & Decline

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Is Sprite being discontinued

Sprite is one of the most recognizable soda brands in the world. The iconic lemon-lime-flavored soft drink has existed since the 1960s and is sold in over 190 countries. However, rumors have emerged recently suggesting that Sprite may be discontinued soon.

This article will examine the history of Sprite, analyze the recent declines in soda consumption, look into the rumors about Sprite being discontinued, and consider what the future may hold for this famous beverage. Understanding the full context is important before jumping to conclusions about the fate of such a well-known brand.

History of Sprite

Launch and Early Success

Sprite was created in West Germany in 1959 under “Fanta Klare Zitrone.” It was launched in the United States under the Sprite name in 1961 as Coca-Cola’s response to the popularity of 7Up.

Sprite quickly became one of the top-selling sodas and a staple of American culture over the next few decades. Hip-hop artists like Kurtis Blow and Heavy D name-dropped it in their lyrics, and Sprite advertising used urban motifs and capitalized on the brand’s street cred.

By the 1990s, Sprite had become the market leader in the lemon-lime soda category. Coca-Cola’s distribution network helped make it ubiquitous globally.

Marketing Campaigns Over the Years

Over the decades, Sprite has connected with young consumers through innovative marketing like the “Obey Your Thirst” campaign in the 1990s, which featured basketball star Grant Hill.

In the early 2000s, Sprite expanded beyond promoting the beverage by launching Sprite Street fashion shows and Sprite Step-Off dance competitions.

The brand also partnered with celebrities and athletes like LeBron James, Drake, and Nas for promotions and ads. These creative campaigns kept Sprite relevant in pop culture and cemented brand loyalty.

Reformulation in Response to Health Trends

As criticism of sugary sodas increased, Sprite began introducing new variants like Sprite Zero in 1974 to appeal to calorie-conscious consumers.

In the 2000s, they reduced the sugar content in the original Sprite. Sprite Remix flavors combined Sprite with other juices and flavors. These efforts modernized the brand and addressed changing preferences.

Declining Soda Sales

Consumer Preference Shifting Away from Sugary Drinks

Over the past 15 years, soda consumption has declined steadily in the United States. Sugary drinks have fallen out of favor as consumers become more health conscious.

According to Beverage Digest, U.S. soda volumes declined from over 53 gallons per capita in 2000 to about 38 gallons in 2018. Sprite has not been immune to these changing tastes.

Soft Drink Consumption Graph
Source: IBISWorld

The public health war on sugar and the rise of functional beverages like flavored seltzer waters have pressured Sprite’s core product. However, Sprite Zero has grown as consumers switch to diet or zero-sugar options.

Competition from Other Beverages

Sprite also faces more competition than it did in the past. The wider variety of drink choices crowds the field — from juice and tea to coffee and energy drinks.

Younger generations often perceive soda as unhealthy and outdated. Brands like LaCroix, Bai, and Vitaminwater resonate more with health and wellness-focused consumers.

Adapting to this market evolution presents an ongoing challenge for Sprite to stay relevant.

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Rumors of Sprite Being Discontinued

Origins of the Rumors

In the late 2010s, speculative stories surfaced claiming that Coca-Cola was planning to discontinue some products, including Sprite.

Some rumors cited supply chain challenges, while others pointed to Sprite’s declining sales. Headlines like “Is This Popular Soda Getting Discontinued?” stirred concern among loyal Sprite drinkers.

However, these rumors trace back to unsubstantiated industry speculation rather than real insider information from Coca-Cola. The company never confirmed plans to stop making Sprite.

Responses from Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola has denied rumors that Sprite will be discontinued. In statements to the media, company spokespersons reaffirmed that Sprite remains an important part of their portfolio.

In 2018, a representative for Coca-Cola stated: “Sprite is not being discontinued… it is one of our billion-dollar brands.

The company considers Sprite an enduring brand with strong potential for growth and innovation. While Coca-Cola has trimmed other products like Tab, they appear committed to revitalizing Sprite for the modern era.

The Future of Sprite

Likely Reformulation Rather Than Discontinuation

Complete discontinuation seems unlikely because of Sprite’s long history and high brand recognition.

However, Coca-Cola will need to adapt Sprite to the changing beverage landscape. This probably means more low or zero-sugar varieties and an evolving flavor profile.

The most logical path forward is making Sprite more contemporary to fit consumer preferences. Reformulating rather than removing the product allows Sprite to innovate while retaining its iconic image.

Coca Cola's Share Graph
Source: Google (12 December, 2023)

Potential New Variations and Flavors

Coca-Cola may also introduce more spin-off flavors and variations under the Sprite brand. Experimenting with new tastes and ingredients can attract different demographics.

We could see additional diet options and new fruit flavor infusions like peach, berry, or even mango Sprite. Limited-edition seasonal flavors or regional flavors are other possibilities.

These innovations would cater to consumers looking for lower-calorie, lower-sugar, or more adventurous soda options. The right new variations could make Sprite feel fresh and exciting again.

Conclusion

Sprite has been a beloved soda brand for over 60 years and achieved global popularity. However, like many conventional sodas, Sprite has declined in sales recently as consumer preferences shift.

While rumors have suggested that Sprite might discontinue, Coca-Cola has denied these claims and expressed commitment to the brand. The most likely path forward is reinvigorating Sprite through reformulation and new flavors rather than abandoning production altogether.

With the right changes to make the drink more relevant and healthy, Sprite could emerge stronger than ever from this sales slump. The iconic bubbly lemon-lime taste still has devoted fans worldwide eagerly awaiting the next era for this famous soda.

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FAQs

Is Sprite already discontinued?

No, Sprite has not been discontinued. Coca-Cola has confirmed it remains in production and has no plans to discontinue the brand.

Why do people think Sprite is being discontinued?

Rumors started based on speculation about soda sales declining and Coca-Cola potentially streamlining its product lineup. However, the company has denied reports of Sprite being discontinued.

When did Sprite first come out?

Sprite was first released in West Germany in 1959 under Fanta Klare Zitrone. It was launched in the United States as “Sprite” in 1961.

What soda brands has Coca-Cola discontinued?

Coca-Cola has trimmed some underperforming soda brands like Tab, but Sprite is not on the chopping block. Brands are usually only discontinued after many years of declining sales.

What new Sprite flavors could Coca-Cola release?

Potential new Sprite flavor ideas include peach, berry, mango, pineapple, cherry, or additional diet flavors. Limited releases of seasonal flavors like Sprite Cranberry could also draw interest.

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