Lilt axed after almost 50 years on UK shelves as drink is rebranded

14 February 2023, 16:45 | Updated: 14 February 2023, 16:46

Lilt has been removed from UK supermarket shelves and will be rebranded as Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit from 14 February, said the brand's owner, Coca-Cola.
Lilt has been removed from UK supermarket shelves and will be rebranded as Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit from 14 February, said the brand's owner, Coca-Cola. Picture: Alamy

By Hannah Holland

Tropical flavoured soft drink, Lilt, has been scrapped after nearly 50 years and will be rebranded as a new Fanta flavour.

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Lilt has been removed from UK supermarket shelves and will be rebranded as Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit from 14 February, said the brand's owner, Coca-Cola.

The soft drink launched in 1975 with the slogan "The Totally Tropical Taste" and became well known for its advertisements.

In the 1990s, two Jamaican women, Blanche Williams and Hazel Palmer, became the face of the brand and were widely recognised as the "Lilt Ladies".

Coca-Cola announced: “Keen Lilt fans may have spotted a gradual transition as the drink has made its way into the Fanta family over the past few months, with changes to its packaging and logo.

Vice-President of commercial development Martin Attock, explained that their main priority was to "reassure Lilt’s loyal fanbase that absolutely nothing has changed when it comes to the iconic taste of the drink they know and love.

"It’s still bursting with tangy tropical flavours. It’s just got itself a new name."

Many have taken to Twitter to share their opinion on the decision to scrap the drink with one user sharing an original Lilt advert with the message: "A sad day for all Lilt, but the Lilt Ladies will live on in our hearts."

Other users took to social media to share humorous tributes, with user @katiebevano saying: "lilt is really having a midlife crisis rebranding at 50."

Another user posted "Farewell sweet Lilt" while many echoed the sentiment of a user who said: "I shall of course be moaning about the death of Lilt for weeks, despite not having drunk it since 1987."

Fanta was valued at £281m at the end of 2022 – more than 17 times that of Lilt, which managed sales of £15.6million over the same period.

Some Twitter users questioned whether accusations that Lilt's adverts were culturally appropriative and reinforced negative stereotypes were to blame for the drink's discontinuation.

One Twitter user shared: "RIP Lilt. No doubt cancelled for not being woke enough."

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