Coke adds to ‘confusing’ Z range

Coca-Cola is to launch Fanta Apple Z in April to add to its range of “confusing” no-sugar Fanta drinks.

The new carbonated product will come in two litre and 500ml bottles as well as a 330ml can, and its launch reflects the industry reality that sales of carbonates are being driven by low-calorie variants. Fanta Apple Z contains four calories per 100ml.

The Fanta Z range already consists of Fanta Z Orange, Fanta Icy Lemon, Dr Pepper Z, Lilt Z and Fanta Z Summer Fruits – with the Z alluding to the fact that the products contain zero added sugar.

One industry source said the drinks sell very well across both multiple and impulse retail sectors, but the “Z” message is confusing to consumers. He says: “The drinks themselves do all right but I’d say that’s only thanks to some decent above-the-line promotions. Until I saw the ads on TV, I had trouble working out what these drinks were supposed to be.”

The source says that Coke was largely responsible for British consumers learning to look for the word “diet” in the title of a soft drink range’s variants if they wanted to purchase a drink with no added sugar. “Now the company has both Diet Coke and Fanta Z in its portfolio. Consumers understandably wonder if they mean the same thing,” he says.

According to Coke, recent figures show the Fanta Z range has grown in volume year on year by 90%.

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