Don't call it "New Coke Zero." USA Today reports Coca-Cola will begin phasing out Coke Zero in the US next month, replacing it with the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. But the new soda isn't actually all that new. Coca-Cola states it experimented with the recipe for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar for five years to avoid a New Coke-style fiasco, and it's already being sold in 25 markets around the world, where it's reportedly doing well. Duane Stanford, executive editor of Beverage Digest, says the ingredient list is exactly the same between Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, and they taste similar, as well. "It’s really as much about the package redesign and repositioning as anything," he says. Coca-Cola's CEO says not all consumers were aware Coke Zero referred to it having zero sugar.
Similar taste or no, not everyone is OK with losing their beloved Coke Zero. Business Insider rounds up some of the reactions on social media, featuring such not-at-all-panicking responses as "NOOOOO PLEASE DON'T RUIN MY COKE ZERO." But it's not just internet randoms worried about Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. "Coke Zero is a perfect soda, and it's being cruelly ripped from our collective arms with barely a week's notice," writes Jay Willis at GQ. And he's got numbers to back him up, pointing out that Coke Zero sales were up 3.5% last year while Diet Coke sales dropped 1.9%. Coca-Cola is considering a similar "reinvention" of its other "Zero" sodas, including Sprite Zero and Cherry Zero.