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Heralding the new Lime Diet Coke, Times Square

Theme: Breaking News.

Yesterday, with sub-zero wind chill temperatures, was a tough day to be handing out free samples of new Lime Diet Coke.

The guy with the ear muffs is likely the event marketing manager, while the guys in red, in #4, were the photographer and tech.

The lime-hatted guy and girls are probably actors who do events when they can't get plays, soap operas, or commercials.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money, January 15, 2004; excerpts) - Coca-Cola Co. made two moves this week to boost sagging soda sales in the United States.

In the more major of the moves, the company rolled out a lime-flavored version of its popular Diet Coke drink in stores throughout the nation.

New product development is one cornerstone of Coca-Cola's strategy to reignite soft drink sales in North America, its largest market. The company's sales in the region have suffered in recent years due to an economic slowdown and mounting competition from PepsiCo. Inc. (PEP: Research, Estimates) and other rivals.

Along with the new product roll out, Coke is also trying to get more uses for its existing product line. And so it asked the Culinary Institute of America to develop some dishes featuring Coke drinks.

"These new recipes demonstrate how beverages can be incorporated into every-day recipes to deliver contemporary, big flavors, with moderate calories in mind," Donna Shields, manager of health and nutrition strategic communications at Coca-Cola, said in a statement.

The new recipes include new twists on traditional favorites, such as Lemony-Honey Glazed Pork Chops, made with Diet Lemon Coke; Oven-baked Chicken Wings with Sweet & Tangy Mustard Sauce made with Barq's Root Beer; and Light Lime Cheesecake created with Minute Maid Limonada, according to www.SecretIngredientRecipes.com.

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