The US soft drinks giant PepsiCo is mulling the launch of its own vanilla-flavoured cola after the success of the launch by rival Coca-Cola of Vanilla Coke last year.

By October last year, Vanilla Coke had sold some 60m cases in its first five months on the US market, with an estimated 7m new customers. The success has prompted speculation in the US trade press that Pepsi-Cola North America is pondering a plan to introduce its own vanilla version this summer, possibly using the name Vanilla Pepsi.

Responding to a report in Beverage Digest Pepsi spokesman Larry Jabbonsky said: "There's nothing to confirm or deny at this point." He did say, however, that Pepsi had looked at a vanilla version in the past, including in 2002. Instead, the company went with berry-flavoured Pepsi Blue.

Bill Pecoriello of Morgan Stanley said in a report Friday that he believes the vanilla niche is "here to stay," although it could dwindle. He said research shows Vanilla Coke neared a "saturation point" with consumers last fall.