WASHINGTON, July 27, 2017 — Coca Cola announced they are yanking Coke Zero from the shelves. Coca-Cola announced that it will replace the popular diet drink with new diet soft drink, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, after global sales were showing positive signs. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar will get fresh packaging featuring more of Coca-Cola Classic’s trademark red wrapping, with a splash of black to reflect Coke Zero’s previous look.
The new drink is currently available in more than 25 markets and will hit shelves in the United States in August. After Coca-Cola Zero Sugar arrives in the U.S., the company will phase out Coke Zero. Unlike its predecessor Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is said to taste more like original Coke.
The rebrand comes as the industry attempts to attract consumers’ back to healthier soda beverages. American soda sales fell to a 30-year low in 2016, according to Beverage Digest. Coca-Cola competitor Pepsi is already at work producing soda beverages that have 100 or fewer calories. They expect to have two-thirds of its single-serving drinks to have 100 ore fewer calories by 2025.
Coca-Cola executives made the decision so they could better communicate to consumers that their beverage contains no sugars. Coke Zero was launched in 2006, but profits have been declining, while consumption of Diet Coke has also decreased. Coke is working to cut sugar as countries and cities consider taxing high-calorie drinks to fight against increased rates of obesity and diabetes. Coke Zero was the No. 10 soda brand in America, last year.
Coca-Cola spent over a year testing the new product, and came away with a product that offers a taste similar to that of a regular Coca-Cola, but with zero sugar and zero calories. American customers have not been open to the change and have taken to social media to air their grievances towards Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola has introduced this new beverage, while facing a lawsuit claiming that they “deceive consumers by denying and obscuring soda’s link to those diseases.”