If you love Coke Zero, you'd better stock up on it: Coca-Cola is ditching the drink.
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which the Atlanta company said Wednesday has been a strong seller in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, will become available in the U.S. in August.
Although both diet sodas are sugar-free and contain the same artificial sweeteners, Coca-Cola said the Zero Sugar recipe tastes more like original Coke and looks more like it, too, with a red circle on cans and bottles in contrast with Coke Zero's black design.
The retooled name is intended to better communicate to consumers that it contains no sugar, as municipalities across the country implement taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. Both Coke Zero and Zero Sugar are sweetened with aspartame.
Coke has been aiming to cut sugar from its products and diversify beyond soda as more countries consider special taxes on high-calorie drinks to combat rising rates of obesity and diabetes, and as consumers switch to healthier beverages.
Consumers are shifting away from sugary drinks but at the same time, many are rejecting artificially sweetened diet sodas, posing a challenge for soda giants trying to introduce lower- calorie options. Low- and no-calorie cola sales fell 5% by volume in North America last year, according to Euromonitor.
Coke Zero was the No. 10 soda brand in the U.S. last year, with sales growth of 3.5%, according to Beverage Digest, an industry tracker. Diet Coke, meanwhile, was the third-biggest brand but is losing fizz, with a 2% drop in sales.