After 50 Years, Lilt Soda Will Now Be Called Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit

After a 50-year stint in the market, soda lovers in the United Kingdom will be bidding farewell to Lilt soda. The grapefruit and pineapple blended sparkling drink was sold exclusively in Ireland, Gibraltar, and Seychelles and is part of the Coca-Cola company's large umbrella of varied beverages that includes Dasani, Sprite, Minute Maid, smartwater, vitaminwater, and Powerade sports drinks. The niche-marketed drink had its fair share of controversies over its half-century run. These included culturally appropriated commercials featuring white actors on Caribbean beaches to the sound of reggae music and another advert that had a "Lilt Man," who would act like a local milkman delivery service bringing the "totally tropical taste" to white folks.

Instead of discontinuing the beverage altogether, Coca-Cola has instead decided to rebrand the drink and run it under the Fanta line of fruity libations, a choice that went into effect on February 14. It will still have all of Lilt's traditional citrusy flavors and stick to the same color scheme of the original cans, but the drink will now feature the signature Fanta font and bear the name "Fanta Grapefruit & Pineapple," according to The Sun.

A possible reason Coca-Cola may have decided to rebrand Lilt soda

Along with the fact that Lilt was only available in a limited number of UK countries, there is another reason why Coca-Cola decided to give the beverage a new look. The Lilt flavor and brand may have been splitting the market with other similar beverages from the Coca-Cola line-up, which could have resulted in the drink "cannibalizing" sales, according to University of Glasgow brand management professor Cleopatra Veloutsou, who spoke to the BBC about the drink's new identity.

Charlotte Walsham, brand manager for Fanta, told the BBC that the UK beverage has a better ability to "fit in" with the Fanta line of drink flavors which includes orange, strawberry, pineapple, and grape sodas. Having the backing of a worldwide recognizable brand such as Fanta could only do the beverage justice — at the end of 2022, Fanta's worth had reached around £281 million or just over $330 million USD, according to The Grocer, which is about 17 times that of Lilt's value. Only time will tell if hardcore fans and beverage fanatics will accept the new change.