Cadbury Schweppes, the UK-based soft drinks concern, is planning to launch a new version of its Dr Pepper brand in the US in July, according to reports in Beverage Digest and Brandweek.

Cadbury is making the move in the hope it will re-spark interest in Dr Pepper, which although the country's number six soft drink has been experiencing a decline in sales.
If it does launch a new line, Cadbury will become the latest in a line of soft drink producers trying to boost carbonated drinks sales. Coca-Cola recently unveiled plans to release a vanilla version of its Classic Coke brand and Pepsi has also been busy in new product development.

People close to the plans are reported to have said the drink would have a more prominent cherry flavour than Dr Pepper, and is being carefully positioned as a separate drink to Dr Pepper, with a deep red colour and its own brand name. It will apparently bear a small Dr Pepper logo on its label.

A spokesman for Dr Pepper/Seven Up declined to comment.

IN line with the carbonated category, Dr Pepper has suffered tough market conditions of late. Volume fell 1.7% last year, and Dr Pepper lost 0.1 share point, according to Beverage Digest.