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Coke Not Ready to Ditch Sugar Completely

The company will add two new full-sugar flavors to its core soda category next year.
November 3, 2017

​ATLANTA – While bolstering its low-sugar and non-sugar options, such as sparkling waters, The Coca-Cola Co. is also keeping its full-sugar line robust and has plans to add two new flavors next year, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. In addition, Coke will debut Green Apple Fanta as part of its fruit-flavored soda line in 2018 too.

Called a local twist on the original Coke formula, Georgia Peach and California Raspberry are made with cane sugar and will be sold in 12-ounce glass bottles starting in March. Testings of these flavors triggered “exceptionally high purchase intent scores,” according to a Coke spokesperson.

Specialty soda has boosted Coke’s growth, with that category increasing 8% last year. Coke has marketed the line to millennials because of that demographic’s desire to try new food and beverage experiences, the spokesperson indicated.

Soda consumption dropped to a 30-year low in 2016, pushed down by a decrease in Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi sales. Also, Americans purchased more bottled water than carbonated drinks for the first time in 2016.

Coke has addressed concerns by tweaking its lineup and acquiring new lines. In July, the company introduced its redesigned Coca-Cola Zero Sugar brand, and last month, Coke bought Topo Chico, a popular Mexican sparkling water company. During last month’s NACS Show, Coke introduced another new low-cal soda called Barrilitos, a Mexican agua fresca line in seven flavors only available in frozen concentrates and bag-in-box formats.