Coca-Cola Life® is the newest choice in the Coca-Cola® Trademark portfolio. Launched in October 2014, Coca-Cola Life was developed to meet strong consumer demand for a great-tasting, reduced-calorie beverage sweetened with cane sugar and stevia.¹ It also answers consumer expectations for variety and choice, and is part of our global commitment to offer more reduced-, low-, and no-calorie options.
“The power of choice is at the center of our strategy,” says Oana Vlad, brand manager, Coca-Cola North America, USA Operations. “Coke Life™ provides a great tasting option for people looking for a Coke with alternative sweeteners.”
The Brand Evolution
Coke Life launched on a small scale with a few key customers. This offered a great opportunity to gain consumer insight and feedback, which demonstrated there was true mainstream appetite for the proposition. In 2016, Coke Life® became a core component of the One Brand strategy which ensures ingredient and calorie choices, such as Coke Life and Coke Zero™, are available in the right packages and right places next to Coca-Cola®.
August of 2016 marked a key turning point for Coke Life in the U.S., as The Coca-Cola Company partnered with bottlers in several lead markets for new package expansion, including Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver and Tampa. To support this expansion, Coke Life was featured in dedicated media and shopper programs to drive awareness and trial. This integrated activity yielded double-digit volume and retail dollar growth, reinvigorated brand awareness and strengthened brand perception in lead markets.
Due to the success of lead markets in 2016, Coke Life® will replicate this approach in close to 60% of the nation in 2017. In addition, it will be fully integrated in all Coca-Cola Trademark programs. “Coke Life is critical in ensuring we provide people with the choices they expect” says Vlad. “We had a huge move in that direction in 2016, and we’re getting ready for an even bigger and better 2017.”
Coke Life at Convergence of Growing Trends
With Coke Life boasting a great Coca-Cola® taste and 35% fewer calories than other leading colas, people, especially millennials, are recognizing that there is a Coca-Cola for everyone.¹
“No longer just about calories, people care more and more about the ingredients in their food and beverages," says Vlad. This trend is driven by millennials seeking great taste and authentic ingredients. For these reasons, Coke Life is perfectly positioned at the intersection of growing desires and demographics, making it poised for growth in both foodservice and retail.
Trend of Choice
According to The Coca-Cola Company’s Knowledge and Insights team and North America Strategy Ingredient Trends, 39% of Americans consume prepared food and beverages with natural ingredients weekly, leading to a 12% increase in retail spending on food and beverages with natural ingredients.² Coca-Cola Life is one of more than 45 beverages in The Coca-Cola Company’s global portfolio currently sweetened in whole or in part with stevia leaf extract (others include vitaminwater zero™, Honest® Tea and Odwalla®). The sweetener is made by extracting and purifying the components from the leaves of the stevia plant to unlock the best-tasting sweetener. Together with cane sugar, the stevia leaf extract gives Coca-Cola Life its refreshing great-taste.
¹ 35% fewer calories than leading colas. Calories per 8 fl oz serving: Coca-Cola Life®: 60 calories. Leading Colas: 100 calories. ©2016 The Coca-Cola Company.
² Coca-Cola Knowledge and Insights & North America Strategy Ingredient Trends, October 2015.