Coke boosts Zero brand, but retains bottle size

Coca-Cola will boost awareness of its diet ranges in the coming months, but will not increase the sizes of its on-the-go bottles in the same way that Pepsi UK plans.

The company plans to offer “more of what consumers want” focusing on the Zero variants and a new brand push for Diet Coke.

Olivia Hendrick, senior brand manager at Coca-Cola, says: “We have an ongoing dialogue with our consumers to understand their needs and wants, and we already deliver broad choice across the Coca-Cola portfolio, bringing together both sugar and no sugar variants within our ’open happiness’ brand campaign ”

The move comes as rivals Pepsi increase the size of its sugar-free on-the-go variants from 500ml to 600ml, promoted under the banner “Bigger Bottle, Better Value” as part of a £3;5m marketing push.

Garrett Quigley, chief executive of Pepsi UK, says the move signals a shift in “consumer preference, making it easier to switch from regular soft drinks to our no-sugar colas and encouraging consumers to go for no-sugar options, as part of a healthier lifestyle.”

Noel Clarke, senior brand manager for Pepsi at distributors Britvic, adds the move is a “significant innovation or the on-the-go category”.

However, experts say that the innovation will do little to boost sales. “Water is already available in these sizes and offers those health benefits. Pepsi should continue to push the sugar-free brands in marketing and focus on engaging consumers like its rivals,” says Alex Napier, director of Fountain Branding.

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