Diet Coke unveils massive brand relaunch

by Monica Watrous
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New Diet Coke
The revamped Diet Coke brand includes new sleek cans, an updated design and four new flavors.
 

ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Co. has unveiled a full restaging of the Diet Coke brand in North America, including new sleek cans, an updated design and four new flavors. Diet Coke Ginger Lime, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Diet Coke Twisted Mango and Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange, along with the original Diet Coke, will roll out to retail shelves beginning in mid-January.

“After 35 years, America’s No. 1-selling zero-calorie beverage brand is entering a new era,” Coca-Cola said.

The company said it spoke to more than 10,000 people and spent years exploring flavor combinations, including tropical, citrus and botanical notes. The two-year innovation process was driven by consumer research reflecting millennials’ desire for big, bold flavors in food and beverages, such as hoppy craft beers and spicy sauces, the company said.

New Diet Coke pull quote
 

“Millennials are now thirstier than ever for adventures and new experiences, and we want to be right by their side,” said Rafael Acevedo, Coca-Cola North America group director for Diet Coke. “We’re contemporizing the Diet Coke brand and portfolio with sleek packaging and new flavors that are appealing to new audiences.”

The relaunch comes at a challenging time for the diet soft drink category, which has faced declines in recent years as more consumers avoid artificial sweeteners. The Coca-Cola Co. has launched several efforts to spark growth in the segment, including a “One Brand” strategy and marketing campaign uniting Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light/Diet Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola Life under “the same iconography and heading” of the flagship beverage to increase sales of the lower-calorie variants.

With this restaging, Diet Coke once again has its own brand identity, anchored by its iconic silver hue, simplified color palette and a slightly refined typography that nods to the beverage’s heritage, the company said.

James Sommerville reviews comps of the new Diet Coke packaging designs.
James Sommerville, vice-president of Coca-Cola Global Design, reviews comps of the new Diet Coke packaging designs.
 

“We set out to demonstrate progressive change and innovation with a look that would appeal to a consumer seeking bolder flavors, but without alienating the loyal Diet Coke fan base,” said James Sommerville, vice-president of Coca-Cola Global Design.

The Diet Coke relaunch follows last year’s introduction of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which the company described as a “new and improved” Coca-Cola Zero. The company also last year issued a challenge for researchers and scientists to find a “naturally sourced, safe, low- or no-calorie compound” that tastes like sugar when used in food and beverage products.

“We continue to believe and invest in Diet Coke because it’s a great-tasting, zero-calorie beverage loved by millions,” Mr. Acevedo said. “While the low- and no-calorie beverage category has been under pressure, its performance has been improving recently, and Diet Coke remains an incredibly strong brand. Following the double-digit growth we’ve seen from Coke Zero Sugar since its introduction last fall and with this full Diet Coke brand relaunch, we believe we can continue to re-energize and strengthen our no-calorie business. We’re building a portfolio for the future with great-tasting options people want.” 

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