So this is interesting. Coke is rolling out an alternate Diet Coke, just with a different sweetener.
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Coca-Cola Announces Plans To Launch Diet Coke Sweetened With Splenda; New Line Extension Will Be Offered In Addition To Diet Coke
ATLANTA, Feb. 7 -- Coca-Cola North America today announced that it will introduce Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda(R) in the United States in the second quarter of 2005.
Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda will be the seventh addition to the Diet Coke family, which includes the flagship Diet Coke, America's #1 diet soft drink, plus Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lime, Diet Coke with Lemon, Diet Cherry Coke, and Diet Vanilla Coke.
"Many consumers told us they liked the taste of Splenda and wanted a Splenda-sweetened option under the Diet Coke brand, so we're obliging them," said Dan Dillon, Jr., vice president, Diet Portfolio, Coca-Cola North America. "The millions of current Diet Coke devotees across America shouldn't be concerned - the Diet Coke they love will stay just as it is."
The launch of Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda follows the successful roll out one year ago of Diet Coke with Lime, which has become the #1 flavored diet cola in America. The launch continues a year of innovation for The Coca-Cola Company which will include a range of offerings across all beverage categories.
Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda will feature a blend of Splenda and acesulfame potassium (ace-k) for optimal taste. It will be available in a range of package sizes and will be supported by a variety of marketing programs. Further details on launch plans will be made available closer to the introduction.
Personally, I think the packaging might be a little confusing, as the yellow highlights imply lemon... but yellow is also the official color of Splenda. This rollout coincides with Pepsi duel drinks of Pepsi One and Pepsi Edge, which are both diet but contain different sweeteners. I think the dual branding is better than the single brand that Diet Coke is going to attempt. My gut is that you'll see one of these sweeteners phased out and it will assume the total brand in the end... or we might see something like "Coke Zero" show up. Who knows.