Diet Coke stands tall with sleek new packaging

Jenni Spinner in Packaging Design on March 19, 2019

The Coca-Cola Co. has released new flavors of Diet Coke in taller, narrower 12-ounce aluminum cans.

Launched in 2018, the line of sleeker sodas has been expanded with two flavors: strawberry guava and blueberry acai. According to Rafael Acevedo, group director for Diet Coke, Coca-Cola North America, the reconfigured aluminum cans (provided by Ball and Ardagh) were designed to connect with younger consumers.

“We wanted to be bold, think differently and be innovative in our approach,” says Acevedo. “We wanted to stay true to the essence of Diet Coke while recasting the brand for a new generation. We’re contemporizing the brand and portfolio with sleek packaging and new flavors that are appealing to new audiences.”

Coca-Cola debuted the taller cans in the United States after two years of consumer research and testing. The company checked in with more than 10,000 people across the country on possible flavors, packaging formats and design, and more. James Sommerville, vp, Coca-Cola Global Design, says the end result merges the brand’s history with a current feel.

“This visual evolution elevates the brand to a more contemporary space, while still using at its foundation the recognizable core brand visual assets,” he says.

Sommerville points out the cans are tied to each other and Coca-Cola’s heritage with a vertical red band on all the packaging, called the “High Line.”

“The High Line is a Coca-Cola red disc that has gone for a walk,” he says.

According to Kerri Kopp, group director, Diet Coke, consumers have responded well to the updated cans, which appear to have boosted sales.

“Diet Coke has been trending well since its relaunch,” says Kopp. “After several years of volume declines, the brand was even on a year-to-date basis, a five-point improvement versus the historical trend. More importantly, we are growing revenue within the brand.”

The 12-oz. tall cans are sold individually and in 8-pack cartons.

Jenni Spinner

Freelance writer and former Packaging Digest senior editor Jenni Spinner is a trade journalist with more than two decades of experience in the field. While she has covered numerous industries (including construction, engineering, building security, food production and public works), packaging remains her favorite.

 

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