Diet Coke hopes a sleek rebrand and some new flavours can reignite sluggish sales

Diet Coke's new design and flavours

The Coca-Cola Company is looking to solidify the future of Diet Coke in North America with a new colourful rebrand that brings with it a handful of premium fruity flavors.

Over the last few years, sales of Diet Coke in the region have plummeted, partly cannibalized by Coke Zero and even Coke Life. 2017, conversely, saw the rebranding of Zero to Zero Sugar in the US and the end of Life in the UK – where sales of the drink have also been fizzling out.

In 2016, Coca-Cola rolled out a global one brand strategy to promote all of its products at the same time, rather than instinctively separating them into different marketing campaigns. In spite of this, in the same year the drinks maker still decided to champion Diet Coke in North America, pushing ad spend behind the variant with a bottle refresh campaign.

Now, in the US at least, the brand appears to have flipped its strategy and decided that answer to attracting new drinkers to the 35-year-old diet brand is a sleek and bold redesign that features tall cans.

Along with this, variant flavors, Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango have come to the fore, inspired by millennials’ love for strong tastes like “hoppy craft beers to spicy sauces”. These flavors were chosen after the company spoke to 10,000 Americans and developed around 30 final combinations - down to four.

Rafael Acevedo, Coca-Cola North America’s group director for Diet Coke, said: “Diet Coke is one of the most iconic brands loved by millions of fans in North America, throughout this relaunch journey, we wanted to be bold, think differently and be innovative in our approach. And most importantly, we wanted to stay true to the essence of Diet Coke while recasting the brand for a new generation.”

Acevedo said the work would make the brand “more relatable and more authentic”.

James Sommerville, vice president, Coca-Cola global design, said the work “elevates the brand to a more contemporary space, while still using at its foundation the recognizable core brand visual assets”.

To support the relaunch, an integrated marketing campaign will be activated later in January to introduce the new look and tastes to consumers.

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