Stevia is most widely available in New Zealand in tablet or powder form as an alternative to sugar-free sweeteners like Equal. It has been legal in Japan for some 40 years, but was approved by the Food Standards Authority of New Zealand approval only in 2008.
In 2012, Frucor incorporated stevia into the formula for its H2go flavoured waters and introduced a line of its popular Just Juice product with 50 percent less sugar. Kiwi soft-drink brand Phoenix Organics also includes stevia in its “light cola,” and Coca-Cola has included it in its Pump flavoured water.
Coke says the launch of Coca-Cola Life will be supported by a cross-channel marketing investment running throughout April, May and June. High-impact OOH displays will build scale at iconic locations, including Britomart in Auckland.
Coke’s South Pacific marketing director Lisa Winn says the new product is an example of how the company keeps in step with consumer demands.
“We’re confident that the new formulation is what consumers have been looking for. We’ve achieved the best possible taste of Coca-Cola, but with 35 percent reduced sugar and kilojoules.”
Based on a very unscientific office sampling, Coke Life tastes about the same as regular coke. Each 250mL can contains 17g of sugar.