Attention Diet Coke Lovers, Coca-Cola is Making Massive Changes to Your Favorite Drink


The process between inventing a product and distributing it to the public is long and filled with red tape. One must consider patents, copyrights, licenses, and commerce or trading laws specific to the desired market.

When it comes to a food product, a company factors in a few more variables. Developers must find a balance between original recipe and the constraints of mass production.

Sometimes, a recipe must be modified due to its use of ingredients that are banned in various markets. Other times, a company must achieve a formula that retains customers while drawing in new business.

Perhaps no company understands this better than Coca-Cola. In 1985, the beverage giant tried to boost sales by reformulating their flagship drink recipe, Coke.

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Branded “New Coke,” the drink hit shelves and was quickly rejected by current customers. Devout drinkers could taste the difference and were not impressed.

“New Coke” was quickly discontinued and old coke, now branded “Coca-Cola Classic” returned to shelves. The Coca-Cola Company got the last laugh though, sales of the returned Coca-Cola Classic soared.

Three years before that debacle, The Coca-Cola Company released Diet Coke, a calorie-free alternative to their iconic carbonated drink. The sugar-free beverage uses artificial sweeteners.

Diet Coke was well-received, particularly by people who were watching their sugar intake. Diet Coke enjoyed increasing sales until its peak in 2005, but has suffered a steady decline in sales since.

It’s speculated that the drop is associated with consumers’ suspicions over artificial sweeteners.

Many, like myself, believe artificial sweeteners are more harmful to your metabolism because they throw off your body’s natural ability to sense and process sugar.

Generally, diet soda sales have dropped 34% since 2005. Diet Coke suffered a nearly 2% decline in 2016, the last year reported.

Needing to boost sales, the company developed a new line of Diet Cokes and announced on Jan. 10 they were rolling them out with new packaging and a fun marketing campaign. But don’t worry, your regular Diet Coke isn’t going anywhere.

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In addition to the original, Diet Coke will come in the following varieties: Feisty Cherry, Ginger Lime, Twisted Mango, and Zesty Blood Orange. In a press release, Coca-Cola explained that these four were the winners in over 30 test flavors developed over the last two years.

Unlike the catastrophe of 1985, The Coca-Cola Company is optimistic that the roll out will be smooth. In Aug. 2017, the company pulled Coke Zero in U.S. markets and replaced it with the reformulated Coke Zero Sugar.

As humans are creatures of habit and become quite loyal to their regular brands, there was immediate backlash and outcry. After the shock and resistance died down, Coke Zero Sugar continues to experience an increase in sales.

It looks as though The Coca-Cola Company has learned from their reformulation disaster in the 80s and has found ways to expand their brand without alienating existing customers. Although I don’t typically drink soda, I’ll be looking in friends’ cabinets and fridges for opportunities to give these new flavors a taste.

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