America’s favorite soda company, Coca-Cola, has changed the flavor of one of its soft drinks and people have thoughts. According to company officials, the brand is changing one of its most popular soft drinks: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, also known as Coke Zero.
On Tuesday, Coca-Cola announced that it would be changing the drink so that it would “deliver an even more iconic Coke taste.” As a result, Americans everywhere are anxious to try the new, updated flavor.
Without even tasting it, consumers are already sounding off online. Full of apprehension and nervousness about the change, some vowed to switch teams and buy from the brand’s rivals, such as Dr. Pepper or Pepsi.
Additionally, others were quick to note the company’s marketing misstep of 1985, when Coca-Cola unveiled “New Coke,” a sweeter version of the original soft drink that ended up being a total catastrophe. That formula change was an attempt to combat Pepsi’s growing success, which was beginning to loom on Coca-Cola’s market share.
Coca Cola Fans Brace Themselves for New Flavor, Point Out 1985 Blunder
Despite the good intentions, the customers were outraged. In June of that year, the company was getting 1,500 calls a day on its consumer hotline from annoyed consumers.
“People seemed to hold any Coca-Cola employee — from security officers at our headquarters building to their neighbors who worked for Coke — personally responsible for the change,” according to a detailed account of the fiasco on the company’s website, which describes the episode as one of the “most memorable marketing blunders ever.”
Now, fast forward 36 years, and the company hopes not to make the same fatal fizzy mistake. In its statement, the company said the new change “optimizes existing Coca-Cola Zero Sugar flavors and existing ingredients.”
The statement also promised that it wouldn’t change the primary formula.
“All listed ingredients and nutritional information remain the same,” the company said. Currently, the new version is being sold in Europe and Latin America, and the results are so far so good, the company noted. “Reaction from consumers in taste tests has been positive,” Coca-Cola executive Rafael Prandini said in a statement.
The new version, which will replace the current one, is rolling out in the United States sometime this month and will be in Canada sometime in September.
Some social media users are already complaining about the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. “New Coke Zero is absolutely grim. They had it perfected before,” one Twitter user wrote.
“If you ruin Coke Zero, I will haunt you,” another tweeted. Coca-Cola introduced Coca‑Cola Zero Sugar in 2005 and made its US debut in 2017. Since its debut, Coke has consistently delivered double-digit growth, according to the company. The beverage was reformulated in 2017 to bring its taste even closer to the original Coca‑Cola.