Functional Diet Coke anyone?

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Diet coke Coca-cola The coca-cola company

Coca-Cola North America has announced its plans to launch Diet Coke
Plus, a carbonated calorie-free beverage with the added value of
vitamins and minerals, that could put the concept of functionality
at the front line of the soft drink category.

Diet Coke Plus is being touted as a source of vitamins B3, B6, and B12 as well as zinc and magnesium.

The beverage is being launched at retail stores in the United States, where other Diet Coke products are already sold, starting in April.

To date, the functional 'soda' category has been taken up by energy drinks often marketed as lifestyle accessories for young people.

As such, Diet Coke Plus represents a new functional direction in the mass market that cuts across generations and sexes.

"Consumers, including Diet Coke drinkers, are increasingly looking for more beverage options, and we wanted to offer them the convenience of a calorie-free beverage that is a good source of several essential vitamins and minerals…" said Katie Bayne, senior vice president of Coca-Cola Brands with Coca-Cola North America.

Using the slogan "Great taste has its benefits" , the company will push Diet Coke Plus by means of a marketing campaign to both drive awareness and give consumers trials.

However, the added value in the diet drink is not as high as many functional products.

Each eight-ounce can of Diet Coke Plus provides 15 percent of the daily value of Niacin, B6 and B12, 10 percent of the daily value for zinc and magnesium.

Coca-Cola, along with Nestlé, recently launched Enviga - a carbonated, green tea beverage that claims to burn more calories than it provides.

In February, Lawsuits were filed by consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) against both Coca-Cola and Nestlé for claiming Enviga can help consumers burn off calories.

Meanwhile, the company is applying the 'if ain't broke don't fix it approach' to regular Diet Coke.

"The millions of current Diet Coke devotees across America shouldn't be concerned - America's number one diet sparkling beverage is staying just as it is," said Bayne.

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