Coke is easily the most iconic brand in the soft drink market and one that's ingrained in pop culture history. Now Coca-Cola New Zealand is making bold moves to continue reducing sugar across its entire portfolio.
The company, which represents over 20 beverage brands in New Zealand including Sprite, Fanta, Powerade, Kiwi Blue water, Pump, Keri Juice and of course the range of Coca-Cola variants, has announced its goal to reduce the amount of sugar in its products by 20 percent by 2025.
Coca-Cola Oceania General Manager Richard Schlasberg says Kiwis’ wants and needs are continually evolving so it’s critically important the business keeps innovating to stay relevant to those looking for a range of drinks to fit their lifestyles.
"We’re doing this because not only is the right thing to do, it’s also what Kiwis are telling us they want.
"However when it comes to offering more choices for consumers, it's not as simple as just reducing sugar. In order to make a meaningful difference, we also need to continue developing new no and low sugar options, dedicate significant marketing spend to promoting these alternatives and provide smaller pack sizes to moderate consumption.
"For instance, when you see one of our Coca-Cola drinks in advertising, you will see mostly it’s a no or low sugar option, such as Coca-Cola No Sugar."
He says the business continually looks over recipes to determine how sugar can be reduced in its drinks.
"And when we launch new products, many of these will be no sugar or low in sugar.
"However, it’s important to get the balance right; we don’t want to sacrifice taste and quality so we’ve spent years trialling sugar alternatives and making sure the recipe delivers. It has to taste good for the product to succeed. There is no point creating a healthy drink that no one wants to buy as that makes no difference to people’s health and wellbeing."
Bruce Sherman, chair of the New Zealand Beverage Council says it applauds Coca-Cola New Zealand for taking this important step towards further reducing sugar in its drinks.
"We recently had the Minister of Health respond to the Food Industry Taskforce recommendations about the measures manufacturers will take, and are already taking, towards encouraging healthy lifestyles. The sugar reduction steps taken by Coca-Cola New Zealand demonstrates the beverage industry is already making strong progress in this area," Sherman says.
But no matter what changes in a glass of Coke, Schlasberg is firm that taste won’t be one of them.
This article is created for Coca-Cola Oceania