New Coke targets natural sweet fans

Coca-Cola Life joins Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero in four-strong portfolio


SOFT drinks giant Coca-Cola is to bring its fourth version of Coke to the market in the autumn. In September, Great Britain becomes the first country outside of Latin America to see the sale of Coca-Cola Life, a reduced-sugar and reduced-calorie Coke that includes the plant-based, calorie-free sweetener stevia.

The new Coke will be free of the artificial sweeteners used in many zero-calorie products. Instead, the green-branded Coca-Cola Life will be sweetened with a blend of sugar and stevia leaf extract. It will be officially described as a “ lower-calorie” product, containing a third less sugar and a third fewer calories than regular cola.
A 330ml can of Coca-Cola Life, will contain 89 calories. Regular Coca-Cola contains 139 calories per 330ml can.
Coca-Cola Life, which will be made in East Kilbride and other British plants, is the first Coca-Cola to be launched in Great Britain since the arrival of Coke Zero in 2006.
Helen Munday, director of scientific and regulatory affairs for Coca‑Cola in north-west Europe and the Nordic countries, said stevia – a plant-based sweetener that is calorie-free and up to 200 times sweeter than table sugar – had been approved for use in the European Union in 2011.
Coca-Cola has already introduced stevia to its brand Sprite and launched a version of Coca-Cola Life in Argentina and Chile in 2013.
“We certainly know how to do zero calories very well,” Munday said. “But in natural sweeteners the gold standard has been sugar.”
The challenge was to blend sugar with stevia in a way that reduced calories but didn’t introduce flavours that some consumers would find unusual.
The new line aims to appeal to 35-55 year old consumers looking for a lower-calorie cola, sweetened from natural sources.
Nick Canney, vice president sales and marketing at Coca-Cola Enterprises, which makes and markets the Coca-Cola range in Britain, said the launch of Coca-Cola Life was an illustration of its commitment to offer consumer choice for every occasion.
Coca-Cola Life would sit alongside Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, and would provide an option for consumers looking for a lower-calorie cola with sweetness from natural sources.
“Coca-Cola Life will also help to drive incremental growth of the total soft drinks category building upon our on-going strategy to bring new innovations to market,” he said.
“Last year CCE delivered 40% of the value generated by innovation within the category, which was worth £96m in sales to our customers.”
Coca-Cola Life will be available to convenience, grocery, and wholesale outlets in a 330ml can, 500ml PET bottle, 1.75-litre PET bottle, 6 x 330ml can multipack and 8 x 330ml can multipack at the same RRPs as the rest of the Coca-Cola range.
The new product will be supported by in-store promotions, sampling and a marketing campaign that will include advertising and activity in digital media, outdoor media and print publications.