- Diet Coke debuted four new flavors on Wednesday in an attempt to turn around the struggling beverage’s sales.
- Two of the flavors were disappointing as gimmicky stunts failing to live up to the original’s excellence.
- However, the other two demonstrate a possible path toward salvation for Diet Coke.
Diet Coke is undergoing some massive changes, including some surprising new flavors.
On Wednesday, Coca-Cola announced it is rolling out four new flavors: Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange, and Twisted Mango. The new flavors are accompanied by modernized Diet Coke packaging and a new ad campaign.
For the last few years, Diet Coke has been the weakest link in the company’s cola lineup. In October, Coca-Cola reported the brand’s sales by volume declined in the mid-single digits last quarter. Industry publication Beverage Digest reported Diet Coke US sales by the dollar dropped 1.9% in 2016.
Coca-Cola said in a press release it spent two years developing the new flavors and bottles, testing more than 30 new Diet Coke flavors.
We had the chance to taste test the feisty flavors and see if Coca-Cola’s two-year project was time well spent.
The Twisted Mango is the most bizarre new flavor — and the worst. While it tastes strongly of an unplaceable fruit upon first sip, the flavor quickly fades to that of Wrigley gum. Basically, drinking this is like chomping on a stick of gum while chugging Diet Coke.
Zesty Blood Orange — or Zesty Blood as I like to call it — also falls short. The “blood orange” flavor tastes like simple orange soda, meaning this drink tastes pretty much like someone got a little too creative at the soda fountain. Pass.
Coca-Cola has better luck with less absurd options. Feisty Cherry is the most conventional new flavor. If you like Cherry Coke and Diet Coke, you’ll like this one. We don’t know what is “feisty” about it, but it’s quite good.
The one Diet Coke that is both intriguing in concept and follows through with an actually tasty drink is the Ginger Lime. Fans of Coca-Cola with lime will appreciate the drink, which is accompanied by a nice snap of ginger flavor.
Coca-Cola isn’t changing the classic Diet Coke recipe. With the new flavors, however, the company hopes to manage the best of both worlds — avoiding the fury of loyalists while making some necessary changes to finally grow Diet Coke’s sales. And, while we don’t expect Zesty Blood Orange to catch on, flavors like Feisty Cherry seem like a step in the right direction.