• A flavour reformulation and brand refresh for Coca-Cola No Sugar aims to bring its taste closer to Coke Classic while differentiating the packaging for easier identification.
    A flavour reformulation and brand refresh for Coca-Cola No Sugar aims to bring its taste closer to Coke Classic while differentiating the packaging for easier identification.
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The Coca-Cola Company has launched a recipe reformulation for Coca-Cola No Sugar as well as refreshed pack design. The beverage giant says the new recipe brings No Sugar closer to its goal of being imperceptible in flavour to Coke Classic.

The global reformulation is the result of years of innovation and continual improvements, Coca-Cola Australia marketing director Kate Miller told Food & Drink Business.  

“It takes a long time to get new formulations right, we certainly don’t rush the process or take the decision lightly,” Miller said.

A flavour reformulation and brand refresh for Coca-Cola No Sugar aims to bring its taste closer to Coke Classic while differentiating the packaging for easier identification.

Coca-Cola No Sugar was launched in Australia in 2017 and Miller said its market hasn’t stopped growing.  

“Coca-Cola No Sugar’s growth is going from strength to strength. From its introduction in 2017, we’re still seeing double digit growth,” she said.

The company ran tasting trials with customers globally, with Miller saying Australian customers preferred the new formula as did Classic Coke drinker.

The no/low sugar trend in non-alcoholic beverages has been on the rise for more than two decades. A longitudinal study released by the Australian Beverages Council (AusBev) in April found a 30 per cent drop in per capita sugar contribution from non-alcoholic water-based beverages – the equivalent to 32 teaspoons or 126 grams less sugar per person per year – since 1997 to 2018. 

Miller said reducing sugar and offering more low/no sugar options is a key focus for Coca-Cola.

“We set voluntary targets in 2017 to reduce sugar in our existing range by 10 per cent by 2020, and we exceeded that with an 11.2 per cent decrease. We’re also on track to reach our target of reducing sugar by 20 per cent across the portfolio by 2025,” Miller said.

Coca-Cola has reformulated 27 of its beverages since 2015 as well as launching no/low sugar options. “We’ve coupled that with an education campaign, signing-up to the Health Star Rating programs, and offering customers a range of different sizes of offering. It’s a combination of all these that is helping consumers make informed choices,” Miller said.

Coca-Cola No Sugar has also had a packaging refresh to make it easier to differentiate across the range. The minimalist red can features the iconic logo in black.

“The simplicity and iconography is an evolution of our ‘One Brand’ strategy launched in 2016. Using the Spencerian script in black acts as a navigation aid to make it easily distinguishable to customers,” she said.

The new look and new flavour are backed by a $6 million marketing campaign.

Packaging News

In the first year of PKN’s Women in Packaging Awards programme, industry has stepped up with meaning. The response has been phenomenal, and the judges had their work cut out for them selecting the finalists from a competitive field of high-calibre nominees.

At The Hive Awards in Sydney today, the Best Packaging category was won by Don Smallgoods, part of George Weston Foods, for its resealable flow wrap pack for sandwich fillers and other smallgoods. This innovative packaging is a departure from the conventional thermoformed packs and addresses consumer demands for better functionality, sustainability, and product visibility.

Applications for the 2024 APCO Annual Awards are now open, and are open to all of industry to apply.