With Sales Sagging Coke Relaunches Diet Coke
Diet Coke is adding a new look and new flavors to store shelves.
Soda sales across the board are sagging, but those made with artificial sweeteners especially. In an attempt to combat the trend, Coca-Cola is giving the iconic beverage line a makeover two years in the making.
Beginning this month, Diet Coke will become available in cans that are taller and thinner than the cans you are used to. The beverage inside that new cans of Diet Coke will remain the same. The standard diet cola will be joined by four new flavors; Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango.
The new cans will be sold as on-the-go singles as well as in packages of eight.
The standard packaging — such as 12-packs of the shorter, squatter cans as well as 2-liter bottles — that you are accustomed to will continue to be sold.
According to the page on the company website dedicated to the relaunch, the Coca-Cola R&D team tested more than 30 flavors before deciding on the new four.
The new Diet Coke cans are not new to the company’s products. The Dasani Sparking line is already sold in the cans. The sparkling water comes in nine different favors — from Strawberry Guava to White Peach — is naturally flavored and contains neither artificial flavors nor calories. The beverage was originally launched in March 2014 with four flavors and saw five flavors add in April 2016.
Overall soda consumption fell to a 31-year low in 2016, according to Beverage Digest. Diet sodas have been hit in particular as consumers buy more bottled water and other beverages seen as healthier. While overall soda volume has declined, dollar sales have edged up slightly due to the marketing of smaller packages at higher per-ounce prices.
Diet Coke was first introduced in 1982 by The Coca-Cola Company and was seen as a way to target male drinkers that hadn’t flocked to the company’s one-calorie Tab. Tab had been released by the company in 1963 as it resisted lending the iconic “Coke” name to another product, but saw the success of sugar-free Diet Rite.
Pepsi by comparison had introduced the diet drink Patio in 1963. That drink became Diet Pepsi in 1964.
It took until the summer of 1980 for the Diet Coke story to really begin.
While this makeover to the brand’s packaging is significant, the Diet Coke line has seen quite a few new flavors over the years dating back to the cherry flavor’s debut in 1986. Diet Coke Lime hit store shelves in 2004. Lemon and vanilla flavors came to the U.S. market in 2005. A black cherry vanilla combination flavor was briefly available from 2006 to 2007 on U,S. store shelves as well. Other flavors like raspberry, sango and citrus zest are available in overseas markets.
Other flavors may be available from the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines that are in fast food restaurants, but those are terrible and produce terrible-tasting beverages.
For the record, this writer feels very strongly that Diet Pepsi is far superior to Diet Coke in any flavor.
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