Coca-Cola revealed that it’s introducing a third sugar-free Coke in Australia next week, but only for the popular Zero label to be phased out later.
On June 16, Australia will become one of the first countries to see Coca-Cola No Sugar on its shelves after its successful international debut in Mexico last year.
The move comes after the local licensee Coca-Cola Amatil’s sales and shares have taken a hammering in recent times due to the Australian market’s move away from high-sugar beverages to healthier options. This week saw the NSW government even ban sugary soft drinks from vending machines and cafeterias in all public hospitals.
“People are looking for a better balance in their diet and lifestyle, which is why we are changing the way we do things here at Coca-Cola,” said Coca-Cola Australia president Roberto Mercadé.
“This is about The Coca-Cola Company making the leap from simply offering people more choice to actively encouraging people to consider a ‘no sugar’ option.”
Coca-Cola stated that No Sugar was the result of five years of development and 15 consumer trials to get the taste of a non-sugar drink as close as possible to full-strength Coke. The company, however, made that same claim when Coke Zero was introduced in 2006, which Mercadé now admitted was the same “journey”.
“We think [Coke No Sugar] is the closest we have ever come to the classic taste of Coca-Cola,” he said.
Diet Coke was brought in in 1982 but ended up in the market with an “effeminate” image, with Coke Zero coming in later to be sold as a “blokier” sugar-free drink. However, Mercadé told Fairfax Media that just one in two people realised Zero was sugar-free, prompting the introduction of a third label.
Now Coke Zero will be phased out in favour of the unambiguously named Coke No Sugar.
To promote the new brand, Coca-Cola will be giving away free samples through electronic vouchers on mobile phones, Shazam during TV advertising and at voice-activated outdoor advertising panels.
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