The Coca-Cola company has developed a number of their own soda products (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Mello Yello) while it has acquired other product lines to round out its beverage offerings (Monster Energy drinks, Honest Tea, Minute Maid). Coca-Cola company wants to be seen as a beverage company, not necessarily a company that just sells Coke. In order to give true Coke aficionados (who are also health conscious) what they want, they have developed a lower-sugar Coke alternative called Coke Life. Housed in a green can (as opposed to the traditional red can which Coke is known for), the soda has 22g of sugar (as opposed to Coke’s 35g) and 89 calories (as opposed to Coke’s 139 calories). While some say this is not an impactful change, others claim that it is a step in the right direction and applaud Coke for offering this lower sugar Coke alternative. From a branding perspective, I think Coke has to be careful about offering too many versions of “Coke”. Consumers might not easily distinguish the differences between Coke Zero, Diet Coke and Coke Life.
To further increase healthy beverage options for consumers, Coca-Cola purchased a minority stake in Suja Life, an organic juices and smoothies company to continue offering beverages that consumers are interested in purchasing. Athavaley and Swamynathan (2015) write, “The deal illustrates Coca-Cola’s determination to get into fast-growing beverage categories amid sluggishness in its soft drinks business in recent years, especially in the U.S. market. Coke said in a statement that its investment would expand its portfolio to ‘meet people’s varying beverage needs.’”
Athavaley, A., Swamynathan, Y. (2015, August 19) Coke takes minority stake in organic juice maker Suja. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/19/us-suja-sale-coke-idUSKCN0QO1GC20150819
Illustration of Coke Life and Coke. Retrieved August 20, 2015 from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3018850/Coca-Cola-accused-health-washing-single-Coke-Life-maxes-daily-recommended-SIX-teaspoons-sugar.html