Sprite fans, prepare to meet your new main squeeze.
Sprite Lymonade, which hits shelves nationwide this month, adds a subtle splash of lemonade to the crisp, cool taste of Sprite –bottling up a citrusy combination Americans have been craving and concocting for years.
More than 23,000 tweets over the last six months have mentioned mixing Sprite and lemonade, piquing the interest of the Sprite team.
“We even saw one tweet from a fan who regularly stops in one restaurantfor a Sprite, then drives to a second for their favorite lemonade,” explains Ryan Hughes, associate brand manager, Sprite. “At the same time, we’ve been watching the popularity of sparkling lemonades continue to boom – so we knew we had an opportunity to innovate in a completely new way.”
Coca‑Cola Freestyle–which lets fans creatively mix and match beverages and flavors – once again had a hand in fueling the Sprite innovation pipeline. The next-gen fountain dispenser inspired the 2017 launch of Sprite Cherry and Sprite Cherry Zerowhen data showed thirsty restaurant and retail guests were adding a shot of cherry flavor to their beloved lemon-lime sparkling drink. Similar insights pointed to an affinity for fusing Sprite and lemonade.
Sprite is no stranger to innovation. From Sprite Cranberry to Sprite Tropical Mix, the brand has consistently quenched fans’ thirst for variety with uniquely refreshing twists. Creative flavors have fueled the Sprite trademark, which has delivered five consecutive years of revenue growth.
But Sprite Lymonade, which is made with 1% juice, is the brand’s first foray outside traditional sparkling soft drinks.
“As we started to develop and taste-test it, we realized we had a hit on our hands,” Hughes said. “Lymonade deliciously marries the sweet, crisp notes of Sprite with the tart-yet-smooth finish of lemonade.
”Sprite’s clean, lemon-lime profile pairs naturally with a range of tastes and provides a great base for creative customization, explained Hughes, who said the team developed and trialed more than 20 flavors before Lymonade bubbled up to the top.
A full marketing campaign will promote the new variant in Sprite’s signature voice, including a TV spot featuring pioneering hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd and a social media campaign capturing fans’ first sips. Sampling events are booked for college campuses and marquee music and sporting events like NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, N.C., where hoops fans were among the first to taste Sprite Lymonade earlier this month.
“This is unlike anything we’ve ever done before with the trademark – Sprite Lymonade has a unique name, taste and look – so we want to make sure we educate consumers and build awareness about this brand,” Hughes said. “We think we’re on to something really special with this cross-category innovation, so we’re backing the Sprite Lymonade launch with a full media program.
”Sprite Lymonade hits shelves nationwide this month in 20-oz. PET bottles. Coca‑Cola Freestyle machines also will begin pouring Sprite Lymonade in March in a variety of flavors including peach, strawberry and raspberry, along with zero-calorie versions of Sprite Lymonade.