Coca-Cola Hails Success Of No Sugar Brands; Ditching Coke Life

Coca-Cola Great Britain has revealed that it is accelerating investment in its new Zero Sugar brand after seeing a major shift by consumers towards its no-sugar variants.

Data from Nielsen shows that nine months after its launch, sales of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in grocery and convenience stores are up 52% and for the first time ever sales of its no sugar variants (Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke) are matching those of Coca-Coca Classic. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar sales have now reached £115m since it launched in June 2016.

As it increases its investment in its no-sugar variants ahead of the introduction of the soft drinks sugar tax next year, the company said it will start phasing out its Coca-Cola Life brand from June this year. The move is designed to simplify consumer choice between its sugar and sugar-free formats.

Coca-Cola Life was launched in 2014 and was the first Coca-Cola product to be sweetened with stevia. However, the variant now accounts for just under 1% of Coca-Cola trademark sales and for the last year it has only been available in a selected number of outlets.

Jon Woods, Coca-Cola Great Britain General Manager, said: “We’re pleased that in just nine months Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has grown significantly and become the fastest growing cola in UK grocery. As a result, more than 50% of Coca-Cola sales in UK grocery are sugar-free. As we look to drive no-sugar sales even more and make it clearer for consumers to differentiate between sugar and no-sugar options now feels the right time to phase out Coca-Cola Life from the UK market and focus on our three leading and iconic cola variants.”

As part of its plans to grow Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, the company is planning its biggest sampling campaign later this summer, with 11 million samples on offer across the country. The plans will be supported by out of home, TV and in store activity.

NAM Implications:
  • A classic case of following market demand (rather than trying to turn back the tide), inevitably leading to erosion of Classic Coke…