Ordinary Coca-Cola already contains small amounts of vanilla. The history of adding additional vanilla flavoring to Coca-Cola, at least in the US, dates back at least to the 1940s when local soda fountain workers (soda jerks) would upon request add a "shot" (roughly a couple of tablespoons) of vanilla syrup to a (12-16 oz) Coca-Cola fountain soda. This remained common practice in ice cream shops where vanilla syrup and Coca-Cola were both common items for decades.
The Coca-Cola Company first tested a Coca-Cola blend with extra vanilla flavoring at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Coca-Cola Company announced in early 2002 that Vanilla Coke would be introduced initially in the United States with distribution starting May 15, 2002, followed by a rollout in Canada. The introduction of vanilla flavor was hailed by The Coca-Cola Company as "the greatest innovation since Diet Coke in 1983". It also marked the 116th anniversary of the Coca-Cola Company.
In November 2005, after slumping sales, The Coca-Cola Company announced that Vanilla Coke would be discontinued in North America and Great Britain by the end of the year.
In January 2006, Coca-Cola launched Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, a fusion of cola, black cherry, and vanilla flavors.In 2007, Coca-Cola Vanilla was re-introduced in the U.S. and Ukraine with new packaging and with several new variants as of today it is still selling.