Published on August 7, 2017, at 9:45 a.m.
by Katie McKinzey
As I was scrolling through my newsfeed, looking at the headlines of articles on CNN’s website to get my daily dose of news, my eyes halted when I saw “Coca-Cola is replacing Coke Zero with a new drink.”
If you’re like me, an avid Coke drinker, this story struck my interest. I was curious to know what drink would replace Coke Zero. I am not a huge Coke Zero fan, but everyone has heard of Coca-Cola, so I decided to click to find out more information.
The sub-headline began,”If you love Coke Zero, you’d better stock up on it: Coca-Cola is ditching the drink.” I quickly went to The Coca-Cola Company’s website and, low and behold, the CNN article was not fibbing. On July 26, 2017, the announcement was made that Coke Zero would be replaced with “Coca- Cola Zero Sugar.”
Not only did this strike my interest because it was talking about Coke, the most popular soft drink in history, but also as a public relations major, I immediately thought of all of the marketing that would be created — new branding and design strategies, color schemes and promotions that had to be done to make this replacement drink known and shown.
The internet seemed to be buzzing about it, too, as I saw Coke lovers discussing it on social media sites on my own newsfeed.
I did some research to find answers to questions that others and I have to see just what makes Coke Zero different and why it will be replaced by Coke Zero Sugar.
How will they differ in taste if they both have no sugar?
Coke Zero Sugar is said to taste just like a Coke with zero sugar and zero calories. After a Q&A with James Quincy, the CEO of Coca-Cola alluded that the overall sugar footprint needs to be reduced for the company. Coca-Cola is taking specific actions to help people consume less sugar.
How different are the ingredients?
I found the ingredients for both products on the product facts page of Coca- Cola’s website, and they included the same things: carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame, potassium benzoate, natural flavors, potassium citrate, acesulfame, potassium and caffeine. However, when I looked up the products’ nutrition facts, there was a tiny difference.
Note the difference in potassium content in Coke Zero Sugar.
What is the new design going to look like?
Coke Zero Sugar’s design is geared toward looking more like the original Coca-Cola product. From a Coca-Cola press release, the company says “the updated package design will feature the iconic red Coca-Cola disc — a signature brand image synonymous with great taste — against the familiar black background known by loyal Coke Zero fans.” Additionally, it will now say, “zero sugar” for emphasis on no sugar. You can see the designs on Coca-Cola’s corporate website, thanks to its digital system.
On Nov. 12, 2012, The Coca-Cola Company decided to venture into brand journalism. With social media at its peak growth, the company re-imaged its corporate website as a dynamic digital system and owned media. Online publishers and journalists began telling the company stories of Coca-Cola and the reasoning for why and what it does.
The corporate website’s Coca-Cola Journey said, “We made this big bet in digital content because we believed – and still believe – that authentic stories matter, that exceptional writing and visuals win the day, and that building a global digital newsroom and real-time PR tool could transform how we engage with all readers – fans, employees, stakeholders, critics and more.”
Just as I found out the Coke Zero replacement from an online source, The Coca-Cola Company continues to engage with its fans from its website, as well. Whether you call it soda or pop, Coke Zero Sugar or the just “the new Coke Zero,” beginning at the end of August you will be able to purchase this new Coca-Cola drink.