Sales of Coke’s sugar-free colas are set to eclipse those of regular Coke across the UK, underscoring the country’s increasing commitment to less sugary drinks.
The UK will become the first country in the world where sales of Coke’s sugar-free drinks – Diet Coke and male-oriented Coke Zero – are higher than regular Coke.
Latest figures from Coke reveal that sales of Coke Zero reached 68 million litres in its first year on the UK market, following the £10m marketing push behind the drink in the UK. Sales of Coke’s sugar-free offerings, including its variants, are 510 million litres, just behind regular Coke at 512 million litres – a ratio of 50.1% to 49.9% across the grocery and impulse channel.
Coca-Cola Great Britain marketing director Cathryn Sleight says: “Indisputably, people want a choice when it comes to drinks they enjoy.”
Observers in the past have suggested that the launch of Coke Zero would result in the drink cannibalising sales of Diet Coke. Coke has since tried to reposition Diet Coke as a more female-oriented product, to minimise this.
The soft drinks company has also looked to further push Coke Zero’s male credentials this year, with promotions including its “Buy-A-Player” football promotion, a Wayne Rooney TV spot, and iTunes promotions.
Coke’s main rival in the carbonated category is Britvic Soft Drinks, which distributed Pepsi and 7-Up under licence from PepsiCo in the UK.