Corporate Eye

Coca-Cola Life Coming to U.K.

coca-cola-life-ukCoca-Cola Life will be released in the U.K. in September of this year. This is the first new product release for Coca-Cola in the U.K. in eight years. The last big release was Coke Zero, which debuted in 2006 and was targeted to men seeking a no-calorie alternative to regular Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola Life will come in a green can, unlike other Coca-Cola and Coke branded products that have featured the Coca-Cola red in some way on all packaging. However, the iconic Coca-Cola logo will be prominently displayed on the Coca-Cola Life label.

Coca-Cola Life is a “middle of the road” option for people who want to reduce their calorie consumption. At 89 calories per 330 ml can, Coca-Cola Life is significantly fewer calories than regular Coca-Cola.

Rebecca Smithers of The Guardian reports that the company is marketing Coca-Cola life not only as a lower calorie alternative to its flagship product but also as a “natural” alternative because Coca-Cola Life is sweetened with a combination of sugar and stevia rather than artificial sweeteners. Stevia sweetener comes from a South American leaf, and it was approved for use in foods in Europe in 2011. It’s already used in a variety of products in the U.K., including Coca-Cola’s Sprite.

Coca-Cola is also promoting Coca-Cola Life as its first new product in support of the U.K. Government’s Responsibility Deal to which the company committed to reducing the average calorie count per liter in its beverage products by 5% by the end of this year. However, health advocacy groups argue that Coca-Cola Life still contains too much sugar (more than four teaspoons of sugar are in one 330ml can of Coca-Cola Life, equal to one-quarter of a child’s recommended daily amount).

Interestingly, the Coca-Cola company reports that more than 40% of the Coca-Cola products that it sells in the U.K. are no-calorie products. In total, the company sells 100 products in the U.K. (21 brands).

We’ll have to wait and see how consumers react to Coca-Cola Life. What do you think? Good brand extension or not?

Will you buy Coca-Cola Life?

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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