Coca-Cola's limited edition variants have been accused of being a "waste of time" in the UK.

In a report yesterday (14 June), Marketing Week cited a retail source as saying; "They (the variants) are a waste of time and a pain in the neck. I don't know why Coke bothers with them."

"Limited editions have very little impact on sales," another "insider" told the magazine. "We will stock them but it's just a case of getting them in and out quickly."

Coca-Cola GB is lining up Coke Orange for a limited run in the country next month.

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola GB countered the comments. "On the contrary, our limited editions and flavour variants have been extraordinarily successful," the spokesperson said. "They genuinely excite people - bringing in new consumers and driving up sales in sparkling soft drinks, particularly over the first three or four months.

"For example, sales of the diet Coke lime and cherry variants were worth GBP9.3m and GBP8.7m for their first 16 weeks, making them the sixth and seventh largest out of all food and beverage new product launches in the last three years," the spokesperson noted.

"What's important is that much of these sales come from new and additional consumption of sparkling drinks - it can only be a good thing for retailers if we're adding value to the category."