An increase in the number of men drinking Diet Coke, has led to sales growth of 7% in the UK for Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd, the company said in a statement today.

The company said results from sampling campaigns revealed that six in ten men now claim to drink Diet Coke weekly versus four in ten as recently as January 2005. The same research showed that 15% more people overall now claim to drink Diet Coke at least weekly.

The company said that the sales growth had led to a 1.5 percentage point increase in its volume share of the Carbonated Soft Drink (CSD) sector in the UK. The company did not divulge further figures for its sales volumes or value.

Coca-Cola Enterprises said that 39% of the population is now drinking diet Coke, equivalent to 12 million consumers and an increase of four percentage points over the last two years. 

Year-to-date, household penetration of Diet Coke' has increased 3.8 percentage points to 32.3%.

Norman Brodie, marketing director at Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd, said: Diet Coke continues to lead through innovation in the CSD sector. Consumers' response to Diet Coke with Lime has been very positive, with the brand now worth almost GBP16m in the 26 weeks since launch."

CCEE also gave details of its next phase of investment in the Diet Coke, with new TV creatives and a third wave of nationwide sampling activity. 

The company hopes that by the end of the activity, one in every eight of UK adults will have received a free can of Diet Coke'.