Coke’s new flavours, because they Can!

Diet Coke (or Coca-cola light in some countries) was released in 1982 with a new formula than Coca-Cola. They recently released some new flavours around the world which make you wonder what’s the deal: Coca-Cola Peach Zero Sugar, Diet Coke Exotic Mango, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Coca-Cola Cherry Zero Sugar. The latter we were used to already.
Coke’s new flavours, because they Can!
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Diet Coke revamped

Coca-Cola or Coke, invented in late 19th century (1886) by John Pemberton. Ingredients are carbonated water, sugar (sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup), caffeine, phosphoric acid, Caramel colour (E150d), Natural flavourings.

Diet Coke (or Coca-cola light in some countries) was released in 1982 with a new formula than Coca-Cola. 

They recently released some new flavours in the UK which make you wonder what’s the deal: Coca-Cola Peach Zero Sugar, Diet Coke Exotic Mango, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Coca-Cola Cherry Zero Sugar. The latter we were used to already.

New audience, new flavours


2018 is the year of innovation as far as I can tell and every brand is trying to release revolutionary product either tech related, flavour related, food related etc.

Coca-Cola Company is one of those brands. They are looking at new flavours for Diet Coke to build up on the success this product already has.

The new flavours are apparently targeted at Millennials who get bored easily and who are looking for more exotic and bold flavours. Since the Coca Cola Vanilla was so well received, even after its discontinuation, Millennials in UK were asking for it to be brought back!

It is important to catch the main target’s (young people’s) attention when it comes to new flavours especially because they are the ones who will pass the product on to their kids and put the coke on the table at family meals. The young audience is the future. It’s  a good strategy.

But my question is: do Millennials really want these flavours? I mean, we know Coca-Cola Company did their research and testing (taste testing by 10,000 people to be precise!) before releasing new flavours but I cannot understand how come in a world that is more and more embracing the bio-whole grain-vegan-healthy-living trend they are ‘asking’ for new Coke flavours. Which makes me wonder: didn’t Coca-Cola actually create this need for new flavours?

Source: The Coca-Cola Co.


Silver with a twist

Packaging in United Kingdom looks something like this for big bottles (1,75 ml):

Packaging for the Cans  in the United Kingdom and Ireland is based on the silver can (as is the American packaging, you will see below):


As for the main worldwide packaging, America especially, the main product communicated through the tagline is still the can. In America they also have another flavour, the Zesty Blood Orange which has not been release into the UK. Nor has the Ginger Lime, not yet at least. But British do get the Exotic Mango, Feisty Cherry and the Peach. 


As we can see, for the cans the company still kept the silver Diet Coke can … Because they Can … but added a bit of colour to make it more appealing to the eye of the customer. It’s not a bad packaging design if you ask me.

But why the can? Why not the glass bottle? It definitely isn’t just because you Can have a word play with the word but it’s more to match the target audience’s lifestyle from today: always on the go, always open to new opportunities, always busy, always trying something new. The can is easy to pick up, use, put in your purse or gym bag. 


The tagline

The ad campaign was through £10m behind (biggest budget for Diet Coke in 10 years) and the tagline is: ‘Because I Can!’ — see how they got you there with that copy? ‘Can’ — you know what I mean.

The rationale behind is that life is short, and so we should be living it to our standards and preferences without overthinking it. We should be more bold, trying new things, embracing challenges and our fears. Coca-Cola is there to support you and to give you that boost you need before taking on a new challenge (or opportunity). And I get it, this is what Millennials need (or silently want), that emotional support to boost their confidence.

The ads

The Diet Coke Ad released Jan-Feb 2018 (depending on country) is not as powerful as I was expecting. It talks about the fact that life is short so just do what you wanna do: if you want a diet coke, go for it, if you want to run a marathon go for it. Because you Can. If you ask me, the tagline is the one that lifts the ad up on the quality scale.

Source: Coca-Cola Great Britain & Ireland

They also made GIF banners in which they ensure fans that it’s the same great taste but with some boldness and new flavour. 

GIF source:


Not convinced

I guess that they are targeting Millennials because these are so compatible to cocktails. If you want to drink some Cuba Libre you ask the bartender to drop a can of Diet Coke Feisty Cherry with the rum and voila, Feisty Cuba Libre! Because you Can! Or they might even have it on the menu already so you don’t need to customise yours.

I haven’t tried any of the new flavours and will not try soon. If these flavours will still be on the market for the next 8 months then it’s a good sign for the brand and I will test them one by one. For now, sticking to my original diet coke.

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