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Fox Business 15 July, 2021 - 09:24am 13 views

Is Coke Zero changing?

Coca-Cola said Tuesday that it is changing Coke Zero's flavor to make it taste more like regular Coke, The New York Times reported. The product's can is also undergoing a facelift, becoming simply red instead of red and black. Change has not always gone over well for Coca-Cola's fans. KIRO SeattleCoke Zero Sugar will be changing its flavor

Coca-Cola is reformulating one of its beverages to ‘refresh’ its taste and packaging

WGN TV Chicago 15 July, 2021 - 01:45pm

The Coca-Cola Company announced plans to replace its existing recipe for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with a “more delicious and refreshing” version. (The Coca-Cola Company)

CHICAGO — Coke has zeroed in on a new formula for Coke Zero — again.

This week, the Coca-Cola Company announced plans to replace its existing recipe for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with a “more delicious and refreshing” version, complete with new packaging.

The new formula, which has already debuted in Europe and Latin America, will arrive in select markets this month, with a complete nationwide rollout expected by September.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar’s latest “refresh” also comes only four years after its last reformulation in 2017 — a controversial decision at the time.

“Recognizing that tastes and preferences are always evolving, we’re focused on continuous improvement to give fans the best-tasting Coca-Cola they want — with zero sugar or calories — offered in the most iconic packaging and powered by some of our most creative, consumer-centric marketing yet,” said Rafael Prandini, North America’s Coca-Cola category lead, in a news release.

The newest formula is said to “optimize” the existing flavors and ingredients of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, rather than overhaul the taste completely. The sweetening combo of aspartame and acesulfame potassium is unchanged, according to the list of ingredients.

“All listed ingredients and nutritional information remain the same,” according to Coca-Cola.

The packaging is changing a bit more drastically, with a more “simplified” and “streamlined” design, the company says. As part of the new look, the white script reading “Coca-Cola” has been replaced with black lettering, and messaging reading “Now More Delicious” has been added to the label.

Coke Zero, which debuted in 2005, had already reformulated its recipe in 2017 to taste “closer than ever” to classic Coke. At the time, the decision prompted apprehensive fans to start hoarding the original version, though taste-testers for both Beverage Digest and AdAge reported that any differences in taste were minimal.

The impetus for Coke Zero’s latest reformulation, other than “optimizing” flavor, was not detailed in the news release.

“The consumer landscape is always changing, which means we must evolve to stay ahead,” said Natalia Suarez, senior brand manager of Coca-Cola’s North America Operating Unit. 

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New Coke redux? Coca-Cola is changing Zero Sugar taste, look

syracuse.com 15 July, 2021 - 01:45pm

Remember when Coca-Cola changed its flavor in the ‘80s to become New Coke? And it backfired? (If you’re too young, then maybe you remember it happening on an episode of “Stranger Things.”)

Well, Coca-Cola announced Tuesday that it is changing the recipe for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which replaced Coke Zero a few years ago, and also giving the soda cans a makeover. The new Coke Zero Sugar recipe will reportedly taste more like regular Coke and will be in all red cans, instead of red and black cans.

According to FoodDive, the new version uses the same ingredients so the labeling and nutritional information will not change on the packaging.

According to CNN, the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is rolling out in the U.S. this month and then Canada in September. The company first phased out Coke Zero in 2017 to make way for the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in hopes of attracting more consumers.

“Despite its enormous success, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar still represents a relatively small percentage” of the Coke brand, CEO James Quincey said in April. “The improved recipe brings its taste even closer to that [of] the iconic Coca-Cola.”

The New York Times notes that changes to Coca-Cola’s flavors have had issues in the past. In 1985, the company introduced “New Coke,” a sweeter version of Coke, and the backlash was so strong that the original drink was rebranded as “Coca-Cola Classic.”

Some social media users are already complaining about the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar.

“New Coke Zero is absolutely grim. They had it perfected before,” one Twitter user wrote.

“If you ruin Coke Zero, I will haunt you,” another tweeted.

“Change it back to the original coke zero, cowards,” a third said.

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Coca-Cola (KO) Zero Sugar Gets Better: Will it Aid the Stock?

Yahoo Finance 15 July, 2021 - 01:45pm

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Coca-Cola Is Changing the Flavor of a Soda. Again.

The New York Times 14 July, 2021 - 01:59pm

The company promised “an even more iconic Coke taste” for its new version of Coke Zero. But some anxious consumers remember the New Coke debacle of 1985.

Coca-Cola changed the flavor of its soda in 1985 and enraged a nation.

Now, the company is doing it again, risking another outcry. This time, it is changing the taste and look of one of its most popular soft drinks: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, better known as Coke Zero, the diet spinoff that is supposed to closely resemble the sugary version of “classic” Coke.

Company officials said on Tuesday that the plan was to change the drink in such a way that it would “deliver an even more iconic Coke taste.”

Anxious Americans, or at least the ones who regularly quaff Coke Zero, will be the judge.

Already, on social media, worry and apprehension greeted the impending change. Some consumers vowed to switch to other drinks, like Diet Dr Pepper, or threatened to turn to the drink of Coca-Cola’s archrival, Pepsi.

Others recalled the marketing debacle of 1985, when Coca-Cola unveiled “New Coke,” a sweeter version of the original soft drink that was rejected by many consumers.

A Detroit waitress told The New York Times that year that the soda was “flat and too sweet.” A writer in Florida called it “a taste tragedy.” A spokesman for Pepsi-Cola declared it “a tremendous opportunity for us.”

That change was an attempt to beat back the growing success of Pepsi, which was beginning to cut into Coca-Cola’s market share.

But consumers hated New Coke. In June 1985, the company was getting 1,500 calls a day on its consumer hotline.

“People seemed to hold any Coca-Cola employee — from security officers at our headquarters building to their neighbors who worked for Coke — personally responsible for the change,” according to a detailed account of the fiasco on the company’s website, which describes the episode as one of the “most memorable marketing blunders ever.”

The flavor change so angered people that an episode of the sitcom “The Golden Girls” referred to the fury in a joke, consumers stockpiled cans of the original, and at least one lawsuit tried to make Coca-Cola return to its original formula. (A federal judge rejected the suit, mentioning that he preferred Pepsi.)

In July 1985, after only three months, the company announced that it would restore the original Coca-Cola, now rebranded as “Coca-Cola Classic,” to store shelves. “If that is what the consumer wants, that is what we will give him,” Charles Millard, chairman of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York, said after the about-face.

This time around, the change is not likely to cause the same sort of backlash, despite some of the early grumbling, said Doug Bowman, professor of marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

“This is a strategy where Coke is trying to stay ahead of the market,” he said.

In general, consumers have grown used to beverage companies changing and adapting popular drinks. Professor Bowman noted that in the nearly 40 years since the New Coke kerfuffle, vodka companies have introduced vanilla, lime and peach flavors; popular beer brands have experimented with myriad tastes; and both Coke and Pepsi have dabbled in fruit varieties.

Coca-Cola even made a limited supply of “New Coke” available in 2019 as part of a promotion related to “Stranger Things,” the supernatural thriller set in the 1980s.

The advertised changes in the new Coke Zero are subtle by comparison, he said.

“It is hard to see anyone except the most die-hard Coke Zero Sugar people noticing the difference,” said Professor Bowman, who from 2002 to 2004 taught courses at Emory to Coca-Cola employees through a program paid for by the company.

Natalia Suarez, a senior brand manager at Coca-Cola, said in a statement that the company had tinkered with the soda recipe because, to keep growing, “we must keep challenging ourselves to innovate and differentiate just as other iconic brands have done.”

“The consumer landscape is always changing,” she added, “which means we must evolve to stay ahead.”

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which the company released in 2005, has had its flavor changed before. In 2017, the company said the product was “reformulated” so that it would taste more like standard Coca-Cola.

In its statement, the company said the new change “optimizes existing Coca-Cola Zero Sugar flavors and existing ingredients.”

Though the company did not say what that process would look like, it promised on social media that it would not change the ingredients, which include carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame, caffeine and potassium benzoate.

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