We’re honestly amazed it lasted this long, but after just three years on the shelves, Coke Life, the singularly unpleasant low-sugar beverage that comes in green packaging, is to be retired, amid reports of falling sales.
Its selling point was that it had about half the sugar of regular Coke, with the rest being stevia, a naturally sweet plant extract with only one drawback: it’s absolutely revolting.
According to the food industry’s trade bible the Grocer, sales of Coke Life fell by 58% in 2016 to £8.8 million, even after several different sizes of cans and bottles were ditched. Production is being ramped down, and delivereys limited to so-called “key outlets”, and the product will disappear for good by June. The decision, it said, will “enable the company to simplify consumer choice between sugar and sugar-free formats”.
But this isn’t the end of the line for fans of low-sugar brown chemical refreshments: Coca-Cola has also revealed that Coke Zero Sugar (previously Coke Zero) is now outselling the regular full-fat variety. In fact, 51% of Coca-Cola sold in shops is now sugarless, 7% more than a year ago.
On a related note, we once visited the Coca-Cola museum in its home city of Atlanta in the US, which is sorely lacking in decent tourist attractions. The best part was being able to taste all the different drinks Coke makes for other countries. We learned that many places have weird taste buds – and that the humble Lilt is something considered exotic by Americans.
Still, at least they’re not having as bad a week as Pepsi.