Sprite scraps labels from bottles in new trial

The trial, designed to make recycling simpler, “could contribute to longer-term changes to the way brands communicate with their consumers”, says Coca-Cola Europe marketing vice-president, Javier Meza.

Sprite is scrapping labels from the front of bottles in a new trial that will see it rely on the distinctiveness of its bottles.

Labels on Sprite and Sprite Zero products will be taken away in favour of a completely see-through bottle, with an embossed logo on it. The products will be sold in the UK as part of a limited trial across eight Tesco Express stores until March.

Parent company Coca-Cola’s European vice-president of marketing, Javier Meza, says while the design change “may sound simple” it represents “a big shift from a marketing perspective”.

“This trial could contribute to longer-term changes to the way brands communicate with their consumers,” he says.

The aim of this trial is to make Sprite bottles easier to recycle and to reduce the use of packaging materials. However, it will also provide a test for the strength of consumers’ recognition of Sprite’s bottles, with branding on labels a key way to stand out on-shelf.

Why Coca-Cola is making a ‘unified’ global push behind the Sprite brand

The bottle will carry laser-engraved product and nutritional information on its back.

Last year, the Coca-Cola Company said it was making a “unified” global push behind the Sprite brand to build a consistent presence and maximise its potential. Globally, the brand made the biggest household penetration gains of any FMCG brand in 2022, according to figures from Kantar published last year.

This is not the first time the Coca-Cola Company has trialled scrapping labels on its drinks. Trials of label-free Coca-Cola have been run in Asian markets, including South Korea and Japan. In September 2022, the company launched bottles of its Switzerland water brand Valser without labels.

Danone-owned water brand Evian has also previously released a line of label-free bottles.