Coke Ginger designed to tempt health-conscious Australians with new infusion

Coca-Cola is putting the fizz back into its line-up with an infusion of ginger, but this one is just for Australians.

Coca-Cola Ginger was launched Down Under on Monday, as the South Hemisphere country ushers in summer.

Marina Rocha, group marketing manager for Coca-Cola South Pacific, described the drink as having "just a subtle hint of ginger," but staff at news.com.au, Australia's biggest news site, judged the ginger flavor to be insipid.

"There's a subtle gingery scent and aftertaste, but if you're going to do ginger, you have to commit," one said.

Coca-Cola South Pacific

That Australians would demand a bold ginger taste is unsurprising; Coca-Cola South Pacific itself noted that sales of ginger-flavored drinks were up 6 percent in the country over the past year, and Bundaberg Ginger Beer has been a favorite since it was launched in 1960.

Coca-Cola Amatil, the bottler for the beverage in Australia, is trying to shore up demand for fizzy drinks as health-conscious consumers turn away from soda.

According to presentation materials used at its investor day on October 21, the company saw a 0.9 percent drop in the volume of "sparkling beverages" in the 12 months to June 30. In contrast, demand for "still beverages" or non-fizzy drinks rose 20.6 percent.

There may be more surprises ahead, however. Coca-Cola Amatil said there were plans for a "pipeline of new flavors for Coca-Cola."

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