The move is Coca-Cola’s next step in its strategy to help people reduce their sugar intake and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which will be available in the on-trade this summer, is claimed to taste more like original Coke.
A multimillion-pound campaign – Coke’s biggest marketing investment in a new product launch for a decade – will see adverts across television, digital and ‘experimental’ platforms.
Consumers will be encouraged to try the new soft drink with the tagline ‘tastes more like Coke and looks more like Coke’.
The move is a deliberate attempt to shift sales of sugar-free soft drinks in its portfolio to the majority and follows a £30m reformulation and new product development programme.
Coca-Cola Zero was launched in 2006, however, recent consumer research showed 5% of consumers asked by Coca-Cola Great Britain didn’t know it was sugar-free.
Leendert den Hollander, general manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises – the UK’s largest manufacture of Coke – said: “For years we have offered people a choice – every brand we sell has a great tasting no-sugar version.
“Since 2012 our commercial strategy has focused on accelerating the growth of our no-sugar options.
“We know that millions of people love the taste of Coca-Cola so we have been working to refine the recipe of Coca-Cola Zero to match the taste of the original, but without sugar.
“It’s the biggest investment we’ve made in a new product launch for a decade and will give people the great taste of Coca-Cola Classic but without the sugar.”
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is the soft drink giant’s most recent product launch since releasing the sugar- and stevia-sweetened Coke Life in 2014.
Coke Life was developed to give consumers an option between full-sugar Coke and sugar-free.
Despite the work carried out by soft drinks companies to reduce sugar content in their products, activists pushed the government to implement a sugar tax on all water-based soft drinks, which will come into force in 2018.
However, industry leaders have blasted the plans and claimed the move could leave the on-trade millions of pounds out of pocket.
After Chancellor George Osborne announced the sugar tax, Britvic Great Britain managing director Paul Graham said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the plans.