It seems like much of the Internet is in tears after Coca-Cola announced it’s killing off Coke Zero in favor of a drink with a different name and new taste. Coca-Cola Zero will be phased out next month, and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar will appear on shelves in its place.
But don’t cry too hard: It turns out this “new” beverage isn’t as “new” as some reports make it seem. In fact, both drinks contain the exact same ingredients.
Coke says it “optimized” the doomed drink’s flavors into “the best-tasting zero-sugar Coca-Cola yet.” But it’s probably unlikely they taste that different from one another.
Here’s the list of ingredients in Coke Zero:
Carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame, potassium benzonate, natural flavors, potassium citrate, acesulfame potassium, caffeine
And here’s the list of ingredients in Coke Zero Sugar:
Carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame, potassium benzonate (to protect taste), natural flavors, potassium citrate, acesulfame potassium, caffeine
We detect no differences in the new drink’s ingredients list, which was provided to HuffPost by a public relations firm that represents Coca-Cola. Coke Zero Sugar’s recipe is “new-and-improved,” the beverage giant said in a blog post, which could mean Coca-Cola toggled the ratio of ingredients slightly. Really, though, the big change reads like a marketing gimmick: The name is the most substantial update, and it’s a small one at that.
“We’re changing the name to Coca-Cola Zero Sugar to be as clear and descriptive as possible about the product and the promise that it delivers great Coca-Cola taste without sugar,” the company stated.
One other change: Coke Zero Sugar’s packaging “will feature the iconic red Coca-Cola disc” instead of the black cans and wrap that marked Coke Zero. The drink will be available in August.
Additional reporting by Ryan Grenoble.