The move comes after Chancellor George Osborne revealed plans for a sugar tax, which would come into force in two years’ time, in last month’s budget. He said it would be expected to raise £520M in its first year.
The ‘soft drinks levy’ will be paid by producers of soft drinks that have added sugar. However, the legislation will not be implemented until 2018, giving drinks manufacturers a chance to reformulate their products.
Available at the end of June
CCGB made the decision to make the change after consumer research, conducted last year, showed that five-in-10 people did not know Coca-Cola Zero contained no sugar. The new product will be available at the end of June.
The move will be backed by a £10M marketing campaign, which will highlight the new taste of the product.
It will encourage consumers to try Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, by highlighting that it ‘tastes more like Coke and looks more like Coke’ than the original Coke Zero.
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar will also get a new look, incorporating the Coca-Cola red disc to encourage people to try the new zero sugar version.
‘Growth of our no sugar options’
Leendert den Hollander, general manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: “For years we have offered people a choice – every brand we sell has a great tasting no sugar version. Since 2012 our commercial strategy has focused on accelerating the growth of our no sugar options.
“We know that millions of people love the taste of Coca-Cola and have been working to refine the recipe of Coca-Cola Zero to match the taste of the original, but without sugar. It’s the biggest investment we’ve made in a new product launch for a decade and will give people the great taste of Coca-Cola Classic but without the sugar.”
CCGB said the relaunch was the latest action in a series of moves to “promote moderation and choice and help people reduce their sugar and calorie intake”.
The soft drinks sector was the only food and drink category from which sugar bought by British households was falling – by 13.6% in the past five years.
The manufacturer said it had taken four key steps to cut the sugar content of its drinks. (See box below).
CCGB’s four steps to cut sugar consumption
• Reformulation – developing new, lower and no sugar recipes like Coca-Cola Life and Coca Cola Zero Sugar. Next month, a new recipe for Coca Cola Life, with 45% less sugar than regular colas, will be available in stores nationwide, said the firm
• Smaller portions – the 250ml can of Coca-Cola is already available in more than 13,000 stores nationwide
• Promoting clear information – all of CCGB’s bottles and cans display the government’s voluntary colour-coded nutrition labels on the front.
• Marketing – under its new global One Brand strategy launched in January this year, CCGB continued to invest more of its marketing budget in the lower and no sugar variants of Coca-Cola, it claimed