We first reviewed Coca-Cola Zero back in June 2005. It was noted back then that “it’s probably one of the best diet drinks I’ve tasted from Coke…. Those who lean more towards diet colas will probably like Coke Zero quite a bit.”
This has proven to be true as Coca-Cola Zero has been doing rather well in the marketplace. I believe that its formula is the secret to success here. As noted in the original review, industry-leading Diet Coke is not actually a diet version of Coca-Cola. Rather, Diet Coke’s formula is a diet version of the failed New Coke mix (using aspartame as a sweetener instead of high fructose corn syrup). In contrast, Coca-Cola Zero is the true diet version of the original Coca-Cola formula (sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium instead of HFCS). This difference in taste has probably greatly contributed to the success of Coca-Cola Zero. (It would seem to be no-brainer, but whatever!)
The beverage has been doing really well globally, and recently Coke put some effort to effectively relaunch the brand here in the U.S. This included redesigning the packaging to reflect a black color scheme (instead of the white originally used). Apparently, black was the color scheme used for the product for its original global launch, however for some reason white was selected for the United States. I’m going to guess that black appeals more strongly to the male demographic, which is the primary market for Coke Zero. Also, some other flavored variations have been launched based on the Zero platform (such as Coca-Cola Cherry Zero).
It’s going to be interesting to see how far Coke runs with this. They may be onto something here.