Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
|Manufacturer||The Coca-Cola Company|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Introduced||2005; reformulated 2017|
|Related products||Diet Coke|
Coca-Cola Zero was Coca-Cola's largest product launch in 22 years. The global campaign was developed by creative agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. It was marketed as having a taste that is indistinguishable from standard Coca-Cola, as opposed to Diet Coke, which has a different flavor profile.
In 2017, despite increasing sales in the United States, the Coca-Cola Company announced that Coca-Cola Zero would be reformulated and rebranded as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, intended to taste more like standard Coca-Cola while emphasizing the lack of sugar content. The new formula was first tested in the United Kingdom in June 2016, with plans to roll it out in other countries in the following months.
The move caused some vocal backlash. The Washington Post noted Coke Zero is very popular, and that fans compared the change to the launch of New Coke in 1985. However, Beverage Digest executive editor Duane Stanford noted that it was very similar in flavor, and that the formula likely was tweaked only slightly as the ingredients list is the same. He noted that the rebranding was the main emphasis.
In Australia, the soda was relaunched as "Coca-Cola No Sugar" in 2017 but had trouble gaining initial acceptance.
In July 2018, it was confirmed that the original formula would continue to be sold under the original Coke Zero branding in New Zealand alongside the Coke Zero Sugar product.
The original Coca-Cola Zero logo generally featured the Coca-Cola logo in red script with white trim, with the word "zero" underneath in lower case in the geometric typeface Avenir (or a customized version of it). These words appeared on a black background. Some details varied from country to country. Later packagings swapped the colors of the "Coca-Cola" script and "Zero", leaving the former in white and the latter in red.
The Coca-Cola Zero Sugar logo features the Coca-Cola logo in white script, with the words "zero sugar" in black underneath. The word "zero" is in lower case in the geometric typeface Avenir (or a customized version of it); the word "sugar" is in upper case. These words appear in a red disc on a black background. In European markets, the packaging instead matches the classic Coca-Cola red design with the addition of a black band around the top of the label with the text "zero sugar".
All versions of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar sold in various countries are based on the same flavoring formula, and all are carbonated. One liter of Coca-Cola Zero contains 96 mg caffeine. Additionally, artificial sweeteners are used. In the U.S., this includes aspartame and acesulfame potassium. However, the exact combination of sweeteners and preservatives used varies from market to market.
Sweeteners and health concerns
Sodium cyclamate, a relatively inexpensive artificial sweetener banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1969 and once believed to be a carcinogen, has been used in the Coca-Cola Zero versions produced in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Venezuela, Chile, and some Central American countries. It was used for a time in Mexico, before a consumer campaign led to its removal from the drink in 2008. In June 2009, Venezuela ordered Coca-Cola to withdraw its Coca-Cola Zero product, as it contained more than the legal levels of sodium cyclamate.
Coke Zero was originally specifically marketed to men, who are shown to associate "diet" drinks with women. It was primarily marketed towards young adult males and it has been nicknamed "Bloke Coke" in the UK. In the U.S., advertising has been tailored to its targeted market by describing the drink as "calorie-free" rather than "diet", since young adult males are said to associate diet drinks with women. U.S. marketing also emphasized its similarity in taste to sugared Coca-Cola; an advertising campaign for the beverage focused on Coca-Cola executives who were so angry over the drinks' similarities, they were considering suing their co-workers for "taste infringement". Continuing the theme, a Coca-Cola Zero ad aired during Super Bowl XLIII parodied Coke's iconic "Hey Kid, Catch!" commercial, which is interrupted by two Coca-Cola "brand managers" accusing Troy Polamalu of "stealing" their commercial.
In Australia, the product's launch was promoted by a fake front group; the campaign included outdoor graffiti and online spamming that mentioned a fake blog. Once exposed, consumer advocates assailed the campaign as misleading and established the Zero Coke Movement to comment on the ethics of Coke's activities.
Coca-Cola Zero sponsors Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July, and also the Suzuka 8 Hours in Japan, a motorcycle endurance race.
In 2013, Coca-Cola swapped the logo on Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero bottles and cans in many European countries with 150 of the most popular local names for a summer-long "Share a Coke" campaign. The same campaign was used in North America the following summer.
For Christmas 2013, Coke Zero launched an interactive website that allowed people to customize the designs of their Christmas sweater, which have a significant role in United Kingdom Christmas traditions. On the website, people could detail the cut, pattern, and icons for their sweater, and join a popularity contest. Users could choose from Christmas trees and Santa’s head, to reindeer, sleighs, and turkeys. This initiative was tied to a social media campaign, where the top 100 sweater designs with the most votes were manufactured and shipped to the contest winners. According to the Coca-Cola Company, the website generated nearly 42,000 sweater designs in its first four days.
|Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola Zero Sugar||2010||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar without caffeine. First released in France in February 2010 as Coca-Cola Zero Sans Cafeine It was later released in Japan as Coca-Cola Zero Free in April 2010. In Israel, The Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Luxembourg as Coca-Cola Zero Caffeine Free since the start of 2011 and in the US since July 2013.|
|Coca-Cola Cherry Zero Sugar||2007||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with cherry flavor. Introduced in the US in late January 2007 and was widely available throughout the United States before its official debut, which occurred on February 7, 2007 at New York Fashion Week. It was launched in the UK in 2014. In 2017 it was launched alongside with Coca-Cola Lemon Zero Sugar in Luxembourg, Poland and Belgium.|
|Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero Sugar||2007||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with additional vanilla flavor. Introduced in the US in June 2007 concurrently with the relaunch of Coca-Cola Vanilla, and was later introduced in the UK in 2017. It has also been sold in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Hungary.|
|Coca-Cola Lemon Zero Sugar||2017||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with additional lemon flavor. It has been sold since 2017 in Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Israel, Croatia and Serbia.|
|Coca-Cola Peach Zero Sugar||2018||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with peach flavor. Released in the United Kingdom in 2018, Australia and Lithuania in 2019|
|Coca-Cola Clear||2018||A 'clear' version of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, with a hint of extra lemon. Released in Japan in 2018.|
|Coca-Cola Raspberry Zero Sugar||2018||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with raspberry flavor. Released in Norway in 2018 and Denmark and UK in 2019.|
|Coca-Cola Cinnamon Zero Sugar||2018||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with extra cinnamon flavor. Released in the United Kingdom, Poland, Lithuania and Estonia in 2018 for the Christmas period.|
|Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar||2018||Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar is a no-sugar flavor that uses stevia as the sweetener ingredient. Replaced Coca-Cola Life in New Zealand on 7 May 2018. and in Australia in early 2017. As of September 2019, the 1.5 liter packaging size appears to have been discontinued.|
|Coca-Cola Orange Vanilla Zero Sugar||2019||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with orange and vanilla flavors. Made available nationwide in the United States on February 25, 2019. Available in Romania since 2020|
|Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar||2019||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with ingredients found in other Energy Drinks. Originally launched in Hungary and Spain, it is now also available in the United Kingdom and Australia. Coca-Cola confirmed October 2019 it will be launching the variety in the United States in 2020, along with a Cherry variant of Coca-Cola Energy.|
|Coca-Cola Cherry Vanilla Zero Sugar||2020||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with cherry and vanilla flavors. Released in the United States on February 10, 2020.|
|Coca-Cola Orange Zero Sugar||2020||Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with orange flavor. Available in Poland, Hungary, Serbia and Russia.|
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Coke Zero and Coke Zero Sugar have been sold in:
- Argentina (since January 2007, rebranded as Coca-Cola Sin Azúcar in 2018)
- Armenia (since March 2015)
- Aruba (since 2009)
- Australia (since January 2006, also Cherry and Vanilla Zero)
- Austria (since February 2007)
- Bangladesh (since August 2017)
- Belgium (since August 2006)
- Bolivia (since January 2007)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (since January 2012)
- Brazil (since January 2007, rebranded as Coca-Cola sem açúcar in 2018)
- Bulgaria (since March 2013)
- Canada (since February 2005) also Coca-Cola Vanilla Zero
- Chile (since April 2007, rebranded as "Coca-Cola Sin Azúcar" in 2018)
- China (since January 2008)
- Colombia (since February 2008)
- Costa Rica (since September 2008)
- Croatia (since February 2007)
- Cyprus (since August 2007)
- Czech Republic (since January 2008)
- Denmark (since January 2007)
- Dominican Republic (since April 2008)
- Ecuador (since September 2007)
- Egypt (since July 2007)
- El Salvador (since November 2007)
- Estonia (since March 2008)
- Faroe Islands (since January 2007)
- Finland (since November 2006) also Cherry Zero
- France (since January 2007) also Caffeine Free Zero and Cherry Zero
- Germany (since July 2006) also Caffeine Free Zero
- Greece (since January 2007) also Caffeine Free Zero
- Guatemala (since May 2012)
- Hong Kong (since March 2007)
- Hungary (since April 2008)
- Iceland (since March 2007)
- India (since September 2014)
- Indonesia (since February 2008)
- Ireland (since June 2006)
- Israel (since March 2008)
- Jamaica (since June 2009)
- Japan (since June 2007) also Caffeine Free Zero
- Jordan (since 2007)
- Kazakhstan (since April 2011)
- Lithuania (since March 2008)
- Latvia (since March 2008)
- Macedonia (since March 2013)
- Malaysia (since December 2014)
- Maldives (since September 2015)
- Mauritius (since August 2008)
- Mexico (since January 2007, rebranded as "Coca-Cola Sin Azúcar" in 2017)
- Moldova (since February 2017)
- New Zealand (since January 2006) also Vanilla Zero
- Netherlands (since February 2007) also Caffeine Free Zero
- Nicaragua (since early 2012)
- Norway (since September 2006)
- Palestinian territories (since February 2008)
- Panama (since February 2009)
- Papua New Guinea (since 2007)
- Peru (since January 2007)
- Philippines (since February 2008)
- Poland (since March 2008, Coca-Cola Zero Cinnamon since December 2018, Coca-Cola Zero Orange since July 2020)
- Portugal (since May 2005)
- Puerto Rico
- Romania (since April 2007)
- Russia (since May 2015, rebranded as "Coca-Cola Без Сахара" in 2019) (also Coca-Cola Zero Cherry, Coca-Cola Zero Cinnamon and Coca-Cola Zero Orange)
- Rwanda (since 2008)
- Saudi Arabia
- Serbia (since September 2007, also Coca-Cola Zero Lemon since May 2019 and Coca-Cola Zero Orange since May 2020)
- Singapore (since February 2008)
- Slovakia (since January 2008)
- Slovenia (since January 2008)
- South Africa (since August 2008)
- South Korea (since April 2006)
- Spain (since June 2006) Also Caffeine free as Coca-Cola Zero Zero
- St. Kitts and Nevis (since September 2009)
- Sweden (since March 2007)
- Switzerland (since February 2007)
- Syria (since August 2009)
- Taiwan (since March 2007)
- Thailand (since May 2007)
- Trinidad and Tobago (since 2007)
- Tunisia (since 2008)
- Turkey (since February 2008)
- Uganda (since November 2011)
- Ukraine (since February 2017)
- United Arab Emirates (since February 2008)
- United Kingdom (since June 10, 2006)
- United States (since June 2005)
- Uruguay (since December 2007)
- Uzbekistan (since 2007)
- Vietnam (since 2015)
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