After a great deal of speculation and anticipation, soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has announced that it is too launch a vanilla-flavoured version of its Classic brand, which will be available in the US by mid-May, followed by a roll-out in Canada.

"Consumers were excited about the idea of Vanilla Coke and we are pleased to give them what they want," Coca-Cola chairman and chief executive Douglas Daft said in a statement.

Unlike the launch of Diet Coke with lemon, which received little marketing backing, it is believed Vanilla Coke will be accompanied by a significant marketing push that will include TV ads, billboards and radio spots.

Coke has also announced it will redesign the packaging of its Cherry Coke brand, which it introduced in 1985.

The product launch comes at a time when innovation is driving the soft drinks market. Coca-Cola recently unveiled Diet Coke with lemon and is reintroducing its popular fruit-flavored Fanta brand. Meanwhile Pepsi has launched lemon-flavoured Pepsi Twist and Mountain Dew Code Red, a variation of its Mountain Dew soft drink.