Sprite Cranberry is once again making the season merry and bright with a refreshing reminder that the holidays are here.

For the last four years, the limited-edition offering and its zero-calorie sidekick – both of which add a tart twist of cranberry to Sprite’s signature lemon-lime taste – have served as cool, crisp complements to holiday parties, family celebrations and end-of-year fun.

“Sprite Cranberry has become a non-traditional favorite for the holidays and a must-have for festive gatherings,” said Bobby Oliver, brand director, Sprite.

Sprite Cranberry Gif

Sales have nearly doubled since the brand’s 2013 debut thanks, in part, to ramped-up marketing and a strong social media buzz.

“In the first year or two, we were focused on driving awareness of what was a new product,” Oliver said. “In recent years, we’ve found ways to build the specialness of Sprite Cranberry and its authentic connection to the holidays by surprising and delighting fans who continue to look for it every year.”

Sprite Cranberry launched to capitalize on the red-hot popularity of cranberry, which was trending across several food and beverage categories. The Sprite trademark’s first flavor innovation since 2005 was an immediate hit with Sprite’s variety-seeking base and curious new fans alike. “That next year, we decided to move up the launch to early-October to meet the demand we were seeing,” said Amanda Patton, senior brand manager, Sprite.

'Cranberry is clearly a fruit and flavor that resonates with the season, but the fact that it’s an in-and-out holiday offering is a lot of what we think gets people excited.'

Sprite Cranberry is produced in limited quantities, and local bottlers sell out every year. This “while supplies last” availability adds to its mystique and has fans scurrying to find their festive favorite on shelves in November and December.

“Cranberry is clearly a fruit and flavor that resonates with the season, but the fact that it’s an in-and-out holiday offering is a lot of what we think gets people excited,” Oliver added.

Marketing for Sprite Cranberry stays true to the parent brand’s hip, irreverent voice and ties to urban culture. A 2016 TV ad and social media campaign titled “The Legend of St. Rick” featured New York restauranteur Eddie Huang as a Santa Claus-like character who leaves Sprite Cranberry behind in the sneakers of good boys and girls. And this year’s creative includes animated caricatures of basketball superstar LeBron James and hip-hop artist DRAM in a frenzied family scene in which delicious refreshment is desperately in need.

In-store merchandising positions Sprite Cranberry as the perfect pairing for holiday entertaining occasions and as a cocktail/mocktail mixer.

Sprite Cranberry

“We intentionally create campaigns that cue the start of the season and give Sprite Cranberry fans something to look forward to as part of their holiday rituals and traditions,” said Oliver, who cited the brand’s strong engagement on social media.

Sprite Cranberry and Sprite Zero Cranberry are now available in 2 liter bottles and 12-packs of 12-oz. can. Sprite Cranberry is also available in 20-oz. bottles.