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After 35 years, America’s No. 1-selling zero-calorie beverage brand is entering a new era.
(And no, the one-and-only Diet Coke is not being reformulated. It continues to be available nationwide.)
With an updated look, sleek new packaging, the debut of four bold, new flavors and a new campaign, The Coca-Cola Company is re-energizing and modernizing Diet Coke for a new generation of drinkers – and offering its millions of current fans a new look and more flavors.
“Diet Coke is one of the most iconic brands loved by millions of fans in North America,” said Rafael Acevedo, Coca-Cola North America’s group director for Diet Coke. “Throughout this relaunch journey, we wanted to be bold, think differently and be innovative in our approach. And most importantly, we wanted to stay true to the essence of Diet Coke while recasting the brand for a new generation.”
He continued, “We know Diet Coke has all kinds of fans – from people who have loved its great taste since it launched in 1982 to Millennial men and women who are always looking to try new things. We’re modernizing what has made Diet Coke so special for a new generation. The same unapologetic confidence still comes through and the same great Diet Coke taste people love is here to stay, but we’re making the brand more relatable and more authentic.”'
The two-year innovation process was fueled by consumer research pointing to younger Americans’ affinity for big, yet refreshing and great-tasting, flavors in their favorite foods and beverages – from hoppy craft beers to spicy sauces.
“Millennials are now thirstier than ever for adventures and new experiences, and we want to be right by their side,” Acevedo continued. “We’re contemporizing the Diet Coke brand and portfolio with sleek packaging and new flavors that are appealing to new audiences.”
The company spoke to more than 10,000 people from across the country to get their ideas and inputs on potential flavor extensions, packaging updates and more. From these insights, Coca-Cola’s R&D team developed and tested more than 30 Diet Coke flavor combinations, featuring tropical, citrus and even botanical notes. Ultimately, Diet Coke landed on four flavors that received the most positive consumer responses.
Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango bring more variety to the trademark by complementing the unique, crisp taste of Diet Coke with unexpected-yet-delicious tastes. They aim to satisfy adventurous fans’ thirst for bolder tastes and more dynamic and uplifting experiences.
(And the company has heard fans loud and clear on one thing: the same great Diet Coke taste loved by millions of fans is not changing!)
Acevedo said Diet Coke and its new flavors complement the brand’s no-calorie cousin, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. “Diet Coke and Coke Zero Sugar are two delicious, no-calorie sparkling choices – it’s just a matter of personal preference. For people looking for an option that tastes like a Coca-Cola, Coke Zero Sugar is a great choice. Diet Coke and its expanded flavor portfolio provide a crisper taste and bolder flavors,” he explained.
Diet Coke and the new flavors will be packaged in sleek 12-oz. cans and sold as on-the-go singles and in eight-packs. Diet Coke also will continue to be offered in all existing package sizes, such as standard 12-oz. cans, mini cans, glass bottles and more. All new packaging and flavors hit store shelves this month.
The new look also features a dynamic asset Sommerville and his team named the “High Line” – a vertical red band that flows through Diet Coke packaging and into all communications, from outdoor advertising to social media.
The sleek cans – the same shape and size DASANI Sparkling fans know and love – will give Diet Coke a more contemporary feel. A refreshed visual identity, meanwhile, lives up to Diet Coke’s new flavors and packaging.
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