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Coke Zero Sugar is Getting a New Formula

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As someone interested in pop culture, I’m familiar with the New Coke controversy of 1985. Coca-Cola altered the formula of their regular Coke to introduce “New Coke,” which swapped regular sugar for high-fructose corn syrup, changing its sweetness. This change was widely disliked, leading to the resurgence of the original Coke as “Coke Classic,” sparking suspicions of a deliberate marketing strategy by Coca-Cola. Since then, any attempts to modify Coke’s formula have been met with skepticism, especially with its variations.

This week, Coca-Cola revealed plans to update the formula and packaging of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar (formerly known as Coke Zero) to cater to evolving tastes and preferences. Rafael Prandini, Coca-Cola’s North America category lead, stated, “We’re dedicated to ongoing enhancements to offer fans the best-tasting Coca-Cola they desire, with zero sugar or calories, presented in iconic packaging and supported by innovative, consumer-centric marketing.”

CEO James Quincey acknowledged Coca-Cola Zero Sugar’s success but noted its modest share in Coca-Cola’s brand portfolio. He mentioned that the revised recipe aims to bring the drink’s taste closer to the iconic Coca-Cola, influenced by consumer feedback and the company’s commitment to continuous improvement.

Unfortunately, initial feedback on the new Coke Zero Sugar has been negative, with early samplers expressing strong disapproval of the updated taste.

It remains to be seen if Coca-Cola will consider reintroducing “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Classic” in response to this backlash.

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