The Diet Coke can has become completely unrecognizable
As Coke tries to convince customers to drink more soda, the company is completely changing the looks of some of its most famous beverages.
Coca-Cola announced on Monday that cans and bottles of Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and Coke Life are getting a makeover. Starting in Mexico and rolling out in additional markets throughout 2016 and 2017, packaging will now feature a large red disk on the label of each brand.
Coke promises that customers will be able to easily tell the differences between the different lines thanks to the color coding of the tops of beverages — red for Coca-Cola Original Taste, black for Zero, silver for Light/Diet, and green for Life. However, the dominant red disk in the new design blurs some of the differences between products as it unifies the Coca-Cola Trademark line.
The new design is part of Coke's "Taste the Feeling" campaign, which is the first time that all Coke Trademark brands have been featured in a single campaign.
The company is "taking the next step towards full adoption of the 'One Brand' strategy, uniting the Coca-Cola family under one visual identity and making it even easier for consumers to choose their Coca-Cola with or without calories, with or without caffeine," Coca-Cola CMO Marcos de Quinto said in a statement.
Traditionally, Coke has refrained from grouping different Coke Trademark brands together due to fear that doing so would dilute the brand. However, Coca-Cola is now relying on beverages seen as healthier than its sugary namesake to give the company a reputation (and sales) boost.
In 2015, Coca-Cola consumption in the US dropped 1% in volume in the US, reports Beverage Digest.
With a growing demand for lower-calorie and less sugary drinks, zero-calorie sodas such as Diet Coke seem to be an obvious solution. However, these brands haven't always produced the projected success, with Diet Coke consumption falling even farther than Coca-Cola in 2015, with a decrease of 5.6%. In the same period, Coke Zero consumption increased by 0.5%.
As Americans are drinking less soda, Pepsi and Coke have been forced to find new ways to win over increasingly nutritionally-savvy customers. Healthier options are key to the future of the businesses, with PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi saying on Monday that the company has been "future-proofing our product portfolio, reshaping it to capitalize on consumers' increasing interest in health and wellness."
With the new packaging, Coca-Cola is attempting to hold onto the power of Coke's iconic brand, while simultaneously trying to make the beverage more appealing to customers who are turning away from sugary sodas.
By more directly linking the no-sugar Coke Zero and Stevia-sweetened Coke Life with the struggling Coca-Cola and Diet Coke, the company is determined to boost perception and sales across all beverage lines. However, if the red disk confuses customers instead of helping them make decisions, this unification could hurt the company in a major way as the new packaging rolls out in the coming year.
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