Coke Life is officially dead


Coke Life will be pulled in the UK from June due to its consistently weak performance. It attempted to win consumers seeking healthier and more natural alternatives but consumers seem uninterested in mid-calorie options.

Coke Life sought to fill the space between Coca-Cola Classic and the zero-sugar alternatives, Coke Zero and Diet Coke.

A 12oz can of Coke Life contains 90 calories compared to the 140 calories in a can of classic Coca-Cola. Coke Life uses stevia, a natural sweetener, to supplement the cane sugar.

This formulation was designed in light of the fact that consumers are increasingly averse to artificial sugar: according to GlobalData’s Q3 2016 survey 57% of consumers are trying to limit or avoid artificial sweeteners.

With this low-calorie, naturally sweetened cola, Coke tried to express more natural values and encourage consumers to try healthier options.

"Consumers struggled to associate Coke with the natural values expressed by Coke Life."

Unfortunately for Coke, consumers didn’t buy into the message.

Consumers seem to be generally disinterested in mid-calorie option. They either see Coke as an indulgent treat, or they opt for zero-sugar, zero-calorie products such as Diet Coke and Coke Zero.      

Consumers also struggled to associate Coke with the natural values expressed by Coke Life. Unlike Coke Zero, which had a clear ‘zero-sugar’ message that is easy to grasp, Coke Life was neither truly natural nor truly healthy, which blurred its image and message.

Its failure is also a blow to Coke’s ‘One Brand’ strategy. By uniting Classic Coke, Coke Life, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero under ‘One Brand’, Coca-Cola tried to pull the brand’s image towards a healthier value proposition. Moving forward, Coca-Cola will have to figure out how to express healthier values in more coherent ways.