Cadbury Schweppes wants bottlers to concentrate on Dr Pepper instead of the flurry of innovation brands, such as Vanilla Coke, which it says have failed to boost sales in the market.

Dow Jones reported that Rick Wach, senior vice president of marketing at Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc, told the annual Dr Pepper bottler meeting that: "We see the Dr Pepper crown jewel being squeezed out by innovation."

Some 75% of Dr Pepper's distribution is through Coke and Pepsi bottlers, who have been concentrating on a plethora of new product launches from the two big soft drink companies, including Sprite Remix and Mountain Dew Livewire.

These launches have apparently been costing Dr Pepper valuable shelf space. Dow Jones said among Pepsi bottlers alone, the number of promotional displays including Dr Pepper is down 9%.

Cadbury is planning a boost of its own with a new marketing drive in the pipeline. The company is also reportedly looking a "healthier" carbonated soft drink launch, which could include a mid-calorie drink.