Coke Zero Is on Its Death Bed and Consumers Are Angry

Coca-Cola announced a major change in its product lineup on Wednesday. It’s no-calorie drink, Coke Zero, will be swapped out with a new beverage — featuring a new recipe, new design, and new name — called Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. The drink will make its debut next month. According to the company, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is the “new and improved Coke Zero.”

Fans of Coke Zero in the United States are furious, devastated, and grieving the loss of the drink.

While Coca-Cola says the company has made changes to the “blend of flavors” to deliver an “even more delicious taste,” the ingredient list for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is reportedly identical to Coke Zero’s. This includes the presence of aspartame, a controversial artificial low-calorie sweetener.

“We’re confident our new and improved Coke Zero Sugar recipe delivers a great taste that Coke Zero fans in the U.S. will love,” Stuart Kronauge, the company’s business unit president of USA operations and senior vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola North America, says in a statement. “We also hope that people who love the unforgettable taste of Coca-Cola, but want less sugar, will try it and enjoy.”

Diet soda intake has seen a sharp decline over the last decade. From 2005 to 2016, reports Business Insider, consumption of diet soda in the U.S. dropped by more than 27 percent. It’s likely Coca-Cola is hoping to brand the drink further away from the “diet” drink bucket.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has already made its debut in other international markets. This includes Mexico, Great Britain, and 23 other countries around the globe.

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