UK's Lilt Soda Will Be Rebranded As New Fanta Flavor After 50-Year Run

The BBC ran an obituary of sorts this week, announcing that a beloved UK brand would cease to exist, at least as its fans currently know it. Lilt soda, made by the Coca-Cola Company, won't see its 50th birthday. Born in 1975, the beverage will no longer be sold under the name "Lilt," though there is some good news for fans of the pineapple-grapefruit-flavored fizzy drink.

Lilt was only sold in the U.K., Ireland, Gibraltar, and Seychelles, and fans loved its "totally tropical taste," along with popular island-themed advertising that ran in the 1980s and 90s. The Lilt people drink today isn't exactly the same as the original 1975 version. 

The Coca-Cola Company changed the formula for the soft drink in 2006, producing Lilt with less sugar and fewer calories. Lilt fans could also get Lilt Zero, which contained no added sugar and zero calories. Alas, the days of reaching for an ice-cold Lilt have come to an end, though the flavors will live on under another name.

Say hello to Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit

Coca-Cola announced that February 14 was the last day Lilt would be sold under its original name. From now on, the formula will be rebranded as Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit, the BBC explained. Though Coca-Cola assured fans that the flavor and the ingredients would be identical to Lilt, social media saw a number of surprisingly distressed reactions.

Twitter was abuzz over the transition. CeeCee lamented that one of her favorite drinks, Gin and Lilt, is not as catchy now that the soda's name is so much longer. Ryan Spooner declared, " ... Stop this senseless generification of brands! #SaveLilt." Nostalgia for soft drinks like Lilt and Surge is apparently persistent.

Cleopatra Veloutsou, a professor of brand management at the University of Glasgow told BBC that Coca-Cola's rebranding strategy was likely intended to streamline marketing and consolidate it under the Fanta brand. The brand manager for Fanta, Charlotte Walsham said: "Our main priority with this announcement is to reassure Lilt's loyal fan base that absolutely nothing has changed when it comes to the iconic taste of the drink they know and love."