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On May 8, 2002, the Coca-Cola company launched Vanilla Coke, the first new Coke flavor in 16 years. Coca-Cola was looking for a new flavor to debut to keep sales up, and they smartly noticed that do-it-yourself vanilla Coke was very popular with consumers.

The new Vanilla Coke flavor is the result of mixing natural vanilla bean extract with Coca-Cola Classic. The packaging for Vanilla Coke is a first -- keen observers will notice that it's the first time the brand name "Coke" has ever been used on packaging in the trademark Coca-Cola Spencerian script. 1

I haven't tasted Vanilla Coke yet, though I've been looking for it eagerly. It should be arriving at stores throughout the U.S. very soon (if it hasn't already), and it will hit Canada by next summer.

Nameles says, "vanilla coke tastes like a rootbeer float with coke instead."

Update:
I found some Vanilla Coke! For some reason there were crates of it hidden under other crates containing broccoli in the produce section of my local grocery store. It tastes just like Coca-Cola Classic, but with a slight vanilla aftertaste. The vanilla flavor isn't as strong as I had thought it would be, but it's still good. I like it.

Update part deux:
variable says Vanilla Coke has already hit Canada. I must've had old information.

Update part trois:
holliman says Vanilla Coke is now available in two-liter bottles and 12-can packs, rather than being exclusively available in 20 oz. bottles.

Update part quatre:
stewacide says you haven't lived 'til you've had a 7-11 Vanilla Coke Slurpee.

1 yerricde says Cherry Coke's label was changed to display a Spencerian "Coke" brand name before the introduction of Vanilla Coke.