Coca-Cola says ‘better tasting’ recipe will help Coca-Cola Zero Sugar cut sugar consumption

Coca-Cola GB is launching a £10m campaign to promote Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, marking its biggest marketing investment in a new product launch in a decade, as it looks to actively promote moderation and reduce consumers’ sugar consumption.

The fizzy drinks brand announced it would be revamping its ‘Coke Zero’ variant in April this year after discovering that half of its consumers questioned did not know it contained no sugar.

It marks the next step in the company’s strategy as it aims to move from “offering choice to shaping choice” and help consumers reduce their sugar consumption by actively encouraging more people to choose a no sugar option.

The campaign, which is accompanied by the strapline ‘tastes more like Coke and looks more like Coke’, will include a TV ad, OOH, experiential and in-store promotional activity to support the launch. The brand will also distribute more than four million samples across the UK this summer.

All marketing activity is focused on making consumers reconsider their view of sugar free soft drinks and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is the latest action to result from the company’s £30m reformulation and new product development programme. According to the brand, the new recipe tastes “even more” like the original Coca-Cola Classic, but without sugar.

Commenting on the launch of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Jon Woods general manager for Coca-Cola Great Britain, says: “We already offer a number of great tasting drinks with no sugar but with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar we’ve spent years developing this new recipe to get even closer to the taste of Coca-Cola Classic without the sugar.

“That’s important because we know a growing number of people want to reduce their sugar intake but have been reluctant to try a no sugar option because they don’t think they taste as good as the original. As well as ensuring it tastes great we’re putting our biggest marketing investment in a decade behind this launch and throughout the summer we’ll be encouraging people to choose no sugar.”

Shifting its strategy

Coca-Cola has significantly shifted its strategy in the past 12 months in a bid to get more people to try its low sugar options. In January, Coca-Cola rolled out its ‘One Brand’ strategy, which was piloted in the UK last year, on a global scale. The strategy sees its four variants, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coke Life placed and marketed under one ‘master brand’.

Speaking at the launch event, the brand’s CMO Marcos de Quinto said: “The food and drinks industry is facing some challenges. We have to deal with just one of these ingredients – the overconsumption of sugar. Fortunately, we are able to have products with zero sugar. But we didn’t feel that was enough, which is why we are now shifting our strategy. We want to keep accelerating.”

Coca-Cola has also steadily shifted its marketing investment towards lower and no sugar variants of Coca-Cola. Currently, 43% of Coca-Cola sold in the UK is lower or no sugar and the new marketing strategy is designed to increase this figure to more than 50% by 2020.

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