Coca-Cola is to return to selling its drinks through supermarket outlets in Germany after a two-year break which followed the introduction of a bottle and can deposit scheme at the beginning of 2003.

The company said it would begin with 1.5-litre bottles for the German discount supermarket chain Lidl in mid March 2005, later moving to other drinks like Coca-Cola Light, Fanta, and Sprite. 

Coca-Cola said it was negotiating with other discount supermarkets, including Penny, on a possible resumption of business. Unlike its main rival Pepsi, Coca-Cola refused to engage in "isolated applications" by introducing special bottles, returnable only to that chain, for different supermarkets in 2003, to comply with Germany's controversial and now scrapped returns deposit law.

As a result the company's market share in Germany fell to less than 60%, while Pepsi increased its German market share to 15%.