CCE to boost sparkling soft drinks category

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Coca-Cola life contains just 89 Kcal
Coca-Cola life contains just 89 Kcal

Related tags: Soft drinks, Coca-cola, Soft drink, Cce

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) will launch its first Stevia-sweetened Coca-Cola drink in a bid to grow the sparkling soft drinks market, attract new customers and tackle obesity, the company has revealed.  

Coca-Cola Life will be made at the company’s East Kilbride factory in Scotland and will go on sale in Britain this autumn, the beverage giant said.

Expected output and turnover from the new product was not disclosed, however, CCE’s vice president of sales Nick Canney said the new drink would boost category growth of sparkling soft drinks.

‘Sparkling soft drinks sales lagging’

Innovation added £241M to the soft drinks category last year and 40% of the value (£96M) generated by innovation in the category came from CCE, said Canney.

Coca-Cola Life has 33% (89Kcal) fewer calories than the brand’s full sugar variety and will be marketed as a low calorie alternative to the calorie-free Diet Coke and Coke Zero.

Helen Munday, CCE’s director of scientific and regulatory affairs, said the new drink played an important part in CCE’s commitment to the Public Health Responsibility Deal between food and drink firms and government.

It would meet CCE’s target to reduce the average calories per litre of its sparkling drinks by 5% by the end of 2014, she added.

‘Nation-wide attention’

However, while CCE had high hopes for the product, some campaign groups have criticised it. Malcolm Clark, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, supported by Sustain, said: In light of recent calls for a sugary drinks duty, the new Action on Sugar campaign and the Chief Medical Officer openly considering the need for a sugar tax, we are now seeing industry trying to appear as though they are responding.

‘Little to applaud’

“However, there is little to applaud in Coca-Cola GB’s announcement. Fundamentally, this is about a company launching a sugary product to encourage more people to consume a substance that contributes to a range of dietary and health-related problems.”

He pointed out the drink still contained four teaspoons of sugar per 330ml can.

Meanwhile, look out for an upcoming exclusive podcast with Munday, in which she tells FoodManufacture.co.uk about the future of Stevia in the soft drinks category.

The Food Manufacture Group will hold a free one-hour webinar on obesity at 11am GMT on Thursday July 3. Reserve your free place here​.

Coca-Cola’s calories

  • Regular Coca-Cola - 139Kcal
  • Coca-Cola Life - 89Kcal
  • Coke Zero - 0Kcal
  • Diet Coke - 0Kcal

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