Coca-Cola has announced the unveiling of its flagship Coke sweetened with 100% Stevia sweetener in place of sugar in New Zealand, its chosen pilot market on 7 May 2018.
The company said the launch is evidence of its continued efforts to encourage people to consume less sugar.
Coca-Cola has been using Stevia, a plant-based sweetener that has zero calories with cane sugar in Coca-Cola Life which has 35% less calories than Classic Coke since 2013. It is now being marketed in 30 countries around the world. However, the challenge with Stevia has always been how to eliminate a bitter aftertaste which is why Coca-Cola Life is blended with sugar.
The company said the difference now is that for the first time, it is using a specific part of the Stevia leaf that tastes great and has a clean aftertaste that it can use Stevia as the sole sweetener in Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar.
Coca-Cola announced in November its plans to develop the beverage drink but did not specify which country would pilot the beverage.
In New Zealand, which already sells Coca-Cola Life, it would be replaced with the new Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar.
George Droumev, Technical Director, Coca-Cola South Pacific, noted that people are expecting the same taste as they get from Coca-Cola Classic from the new drink.
“They want the same taste as the drinks they grew up with, but don’t want the kilojoules. There has always been some sort of trade-off. Our task was to solve all of these challenges.”
“Our team and our partners have spent almost ten years working with stevia. It was not as simple as finding a sweetener and swapping that out for sugar. It had to have a taste that people will love. Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar is the result of thousands of hours working with the stevia plant to get the best from it.
“What is new – and a breakthrough with this beverage – is that we are using a very specific part of the stevia leaf as a sweetener that tastes great and has a clean aftertaste.”
Coca-Cola’s adoption of stevia in Life has been credited with making the natural sweetener more acceptable and adopted by other beverage companies.
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