ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2018

Diet Coke gets new look, new flavors amid sinking sales

13 January 2018, 04:09 | Kelvin Horton

Examples of Diet Coke’s rebranding effort. – AP

Examples of Diet Coke’s rebranding effort. – AP

Coca-Cola is saying that, for now, the Diet Coke overhaul is just for the United States and Canada. "The same unapologetic confidence still comes through and the same great Diet Coke taste people love is here to stay, but we're making the brand more relatable and more authentic"'. "Millennials are now thirstier than ever for adventures and new experiences, and we want to be right by their side".

The new US Diet Coke packaging shift seems to contradict its previous message.

The relaunch is part of the company's plans to focus on low-sugar and low-calorie options, following relaunch of Coke Zero previous year, and its recent introduction of Fuze Tea to Europe. Diet Coke itself was down 6% in the same period, while PepsiCo's Diet Pepsi suffered even more with an 8% volumes drop. Introducing Diet Coke Ginger Lime, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange and Diet Coke Twisted Mango into the Diet Coke family.

Coca-Cola said the new flavors and look - with a different color vertical stripe for each flavor and red for plain - are aimed at appealing to millennials. "Diet Coke and Coke Zero Sugar are two delicious, no-calorie sparkling choices - it's just a matter of personal preference".

Zero Sugar launched in April 2016, since when it has been largely responsible for the growth of the Coca-Cola portfolio. Diet Coke will still come in standard 12-ounce cans, as well as other sizes, such as bottles and mini-cans. Meanwhile, the whole range has been repackaged in sleek 12oz slimline cans.

According to Coca-Cola, the new products will be introduced to USA stores this month and will be in distribution in the worldwide market in February.

Expect a slightly taller, slimmer can with a new design.

Left behind, Diet Coke has been searching for an identity, and Coca-Cola will hope the flavour expansion and funky packaging will offer it one in the years ahead.

"With a brand recast, designers are challenged with determining how far is too far, and how close is not far enough", said James Sommerville, vice president of Coca-Cola Global Design.

"This visual evolution elevates the brand to a more contemporary space, while still using at its foundation the recognisable core brand visual assets".

In a statement, the company said the re-brand will target consumers interested in trying new things, besides retaining the loyal diet coke consumer.

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