Coca-Cola introduced a new Coke into the British market at the start of this month, Coke Life, which sits right in the middle of original Coke and Diet Coke in its portfolio. And comes in a green can.
The new can doesn’t have any trace of the red branding that Coke traditionally owns. It’s like looking at a can of Coke from an alternative universe.
A brief social media analysis shows British opinion of the drink is split right down the middle.
Coke is hoping the new drink — which is also set for further international launches — will appeal to health-conscious consumers who don’t like the taste of calorie-free drinks. Coke Life has a third fewer calories than regular Coke in Great Britain (89 to Coke original’s 139) and is sweetened using a blend of sugar and stevia, a naturally-sourced sweetener.
Coke Life was first trialled in Argentina and Chile in November last year, with the company saying in February that the brand had “had shown great promise” in bringing new and lapsed consumers into the sparkling category and growing incrementally the volume of drinks it sells in the regions.
In the hope of emulating that success, the company has rolled out a major outdoor, print, digital and in-store marketing to tempt Brits into trial the new Coke.
So have they taken to it?
The Coke Life conversation analysis
We asked media monitoring company Meltwater to analyse the social media chatter around Coke Life – which it says generated more than 11,000 conversations across Facebook and Twitter in Great Britain in September.
The data suggests the sentiment of those conversations was very slightly skewed to negative reactions (51% negative to 49% positive).
Perhaps surprisingly in some people’s eyes, more males have been talking about Coke Life than females (54 per cent to 46%). That said, more females were reporting positive reviews than males (60% to 49%).
Of the Coke Life compliments, particular emerging themes were that it is “healthier,” “natural,” “tastes like regular Coke but with less sugar” alongside general buzz around people wanting to trial a new product.
Detractors posted they were confused about its positioning, that it tasted worse than existing Cokes and that if they wanted to drink something “natural” they wouldn’t opt for Coke.
We reached out to two research companies to see if they could provide us with sales data to measure Coke Life’s actual performance in Great Britain so far — but both said it was too early for any substantial figures to have appeared on their trackers.
All in all, the jury’s definitely still out. But that probably isn’t too bad a result for Coke, which often takes a knocking in the UK press and from health campaigners for producing sugary products.
A Coca-Cola spokeswoman told Business Insider: “We are really encouraged by the reception that the Coca-Cola Life launch has garnered. It has generated huge volumes of conversation online about the product and we are really encouraged by what we hearing from our consumers.”