Coca-Cola announced a major change in its product lineup on Wednesday. It's no-calorie drink, Coke Zero, will be swapped out with a new beverage — featuring a new recipe, new design, and new name — called Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. The drink will make its debut next month. According to the company, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is the "new and improved Coke Zero."
Fans of Coke Zero in the United States are furious, devastated, and grieving the loss of the drink.
While Coca-Cola says the company has made changes to the "blend of flavors" to deliver an "even more delicious taste," the ingredient list for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is reportedly identical to Coke Zero's. This includes the presence of aspartame, a controversial artificial low-calorie sweetener.
"We're confident our new and improved Coke Zero Sugar recipe delivers a great taste that Coke Zero fans in the U.S. will love," Stuart Kronauge, the company's business unit president of USA operations and senior vice president of marketing for
Diet soda intake has seen a sharp decline over the last decade. From 2005 to 2016, reports Business Insider, consumption of diet soda in the U.S. dropped by more than 27 percent. It's likely Coca-Cola is hoping to brand the drink further away from the "diet" drink bucket.
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has already made its debut in other international markets. This includes Mexico, Great Britain, and 23 other countries around the globe.