You know how you wander through this world, in an eternal and optimistic belief that everything will just carry on being the same? Except for things that can and should change, such as trees, children, flowers, clouds… What should not change is things that sit on supermarket shelves in metal cans. Surely they are immutable?

Apparently not.

The Coca-Cola company, which owns the brand Lilt in the UK, has announced that Lilt has vanished.

Spokespersons were keen to stress that the taste would not change.

Its taste was always “totally tropical” but now we must call the carbonated beverage Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit, instead of the poetic Lilt. Why? I mean, we’ve had it on the shelves since 1975 so why now? Why, after 48 years was a new name required?

Some have opined that in these swashbuckling 2020s, where authenticity matters and reality counts, the advertising message no longer stood up to scrutiny.

After all, the fizzy fluid is manufactured in industrial complexes, not served to us fresh from the sands of a Caribbean beach.

But I’m not sure that, after 48 years, the British public suddenly demanded authenticity from its pop. It’s much more likely to be a desire to reduce marketing costs. After all, Lilt was only ever sold in the UK, Ireland and Gibraltar.

According to the company, “the drink has made its way into the Fanta family”. If you can market one brand — Fanta — around the world, think of the money you’ll save on label design, advertising, printing, and marketing.

Besides, it’s not as if they hadn’t tinkered with Lilt before. Remember the mango and mandarin version? No? The banana and peach? Just the mango on its own then? Each incarnation only lasted a few years before they vanished. Some things are worth mourning. Some just aren’t.

I couldn’t find any pictures of a pineapple in my library. Or grapefruit


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