October 24, 2018

Diet Coke Gets Brand Makeover In Bid To Attract Millenials

13 January 2018, 04:04 | Joann Bryant

New Diet Coke cans and flavors January 2018

Diet Coke

The old war-horse of the low-sugar CSD market is nigh on 36 years old and looking a bit dusty. In Nielsen figures cited by Cowen & Co analyst Vivien Azer last week, diet CSDs were down 4% in volumes for the 12 weeks to 30 December, outpacing overall CSD falls. Ultimately, Diet Coke landed on four flavors that received the most positive consumer responses. Action is clearly needed.

It paid dividends for the soft drinks giant, resulting in a 27% sales uplift above the national forecast.

Enter Coca-Cola's overhauled diet range. Introducing Diet Coke Ginger Lime, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange and Diet Coke Twisted Mango into the Diet Coke family. Diet Coke also will continue to be offered in all existing package sizes, such as standard 12-oz. cans, mini cans, glass bottles and more. In shape and design, it is not a million miles from Australian bottler Coca-Cola Amatil's Colour your Summer reinvention of Coca-Cola in 2015.

Almost a year ago Coca-Cola revealed a new "one brand" marketing approach to counteract the brand's diluted presence on shelf.

So whether you're a longtime fan, or just the type who's down to try new things, give Diet Coke a taste and you'll see what we're talking about. A bolstered diet portfolio would help protect Coca-Cola's CSD sales from further anti-sugar regulation, now making in-roads with legislative bodies across North America.

Consolidated (NASDAQ:COKE) by 10.9% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). But what is apparent is that Coke Zero Sugar's bolder brand imaging does a better job of attracting consumers than Diet Coke. A refreshed visual identity, meanwhile, lives up to Diet Coke's new flavors and packaging.

Has Coca-Cola back-flipped on its "one brand" strategy?

While the original Diet Coke isn't changing, "a bold new look, a fresh attitude" and four new flavours have arrived. "We're contemporizing the Diet Coke brand and portfolio with sleek packaging and new flavors that are appealing to new audiences". A slightly refined typography simultaneously preserves Diet Coke's heritage, but presents it in a more progressive manner, the company said. "We even hosted a mixology session in Atlanta where we invited fans to ideate, create and taste Diet Coke flavours we were considering".

Whether this will happen in other markets is not yet clear. We're modernizing what has made Diet Coke so special for a new generation.

The relaunch is part of the company's plans to focus on low-sugar and low-calorie options, following relaunch of Coke Zero a year ago, and its recent introduction of Fuze Tea to Europe.

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