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Coke Zero reformulated in bid to increase Coca-Cola's sugar-free drink sales


New reformulated Coke Zero (Coca Cola/PA)

New reformulated Coke Zero (Coca Cola/PA)

New reformulated Coke Zero (Coca Cola/PA)

Coca-Cola has reformulated Coke Zero to taste more like the original in a fresh effort to increase sales of its sugar-free drinks.

The re-branded "Coca-Cola Zero Sugar" will be on UK shop shelves from the end of June backed by a £10 million marketing campaign to encourage consumers to choose sugar-free options.

The new drink comes a month after George Osborne announced a surprise sugar tax which will be brought in in two years' time.

The marketing campaign will encourage consumers to try the "new and improved Coca-Cola Zero Sugar" by highlighting that it "tastes more like Coke and looks more like Coke" than the original Coke Zero.

The new name and packaging is designed to make it clearer to consumers that the drink is sugar free after a survey last year found that half of people did not know Coke Zero contained no sugar.

The company said the move was a deliberate attempt to change the mix of the company's portfolio between sugar and no sugar drinks and is the latest result of its £30 million reformulation and new product development programme.

Currently, Coca-Cola GB's Coke Zero, which was launched in 2006, Coke Life and Coke Diet products make up 43% of sales, and the company said it would like the figure to reach more than 50% by 2020.

Coca-Cola GB general manager Jon Woods said: "Since 2012 our commercial strategy has focused on accelerating the growth of our no sugar options. We know that millions of people love the taste of Coca-Cola and have been working to refine the recipe of Coca-Cola Zero to match the taste of the original, but without sugar.

"It's the biggest investment we've made in a new product launch for a decade and will give people the great taste of Coca-Cola Classic but without the sugar."

In 2014 Coca-Cola launched Coca-Cola Life sweetened with stevia and containing a third less sugar and calories than the regular cola.

A regular 330ml can of Coca-Cola contains 35 grams of sugar, or 39% of an adult's GDA (guideline daily amount).

Diet Coke contains no calories.

The company is a signatory to the Government's Responsibility Deal, under which the food and drink industry has pledged to promote a healthier diet and make changes to their products.