Diet Coke gets biggest makeover ever in bid to restore cachet

Andrew Cummings
January 13, 2018

A 2016 report by Beverage Digest, a publication covering non-alcoholic beverages in the United States, showed a 0.8% decline in the overall volume sales for carbonated soft drinks, with Diet Coke sales falling by 4.3%.

Acevedo said Diet Coke and its new flavors complement the brand's no-calorie cousin, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar.

Coca-Cola North America group director for Diet Coke Rafael Acevedo says it's simply modernising Diet Coke by making the brand more relatable and more authentic.

Zero Sugar launched in April 2016, since when it has been largely responsible for the growth of the Coca-Cola portfolio. We're re-launching with a bold new look, a fresh attitude, and four delicious new flavors, which join the iconic original.


In this case we'll have to trust them as it doesn't sound like Australia will be privy to the new products.

The research and development team at Coca-Cola tested over 30 potential new Diet Coke flavors, working with tropical, citrus, and even botanical notes before settling on the four new flavors.

On top of that, there's going to be a new can design, meaning this...

"With a brand recast, designers are challenged with determining how far is too far, and how close is not far enough", said James Sommerville, vice president of Coca-Cola Global Design.


The changes will show up in USA stores by the end of the month and in Canada in February. "This visual evolution elevates the brand to a more contemporary space, while still using at its foundation the recognizable core brand visual assets".

The redesigned cans will retain the brand's silver and red colouring, with different coloured accents for each of the new flavours.

But the Diet Coke you think you know is history. "We set out to demonstrate progressive change and innovation with a look that would appeal to a consumer seeking bolder flavors, but without alienating the loyal Diet Coke fan base".

The new brand represents Coca-Cola's biggest product investment for over a decade.


"We cast a very broad flavour net after looking at what millennials are eating and drinking and what food and beverage trends and insights told us", said Melissa Schwartz, senior brand manager for Diet Coke. While the low- and no-calorie beverage category has been under pressure, its performance has been improving recently, and Diet Coke remains an incredibly strong brand. "We want to build on the success of the brand to date, reminding people of what makes it so special".

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