Sugar-free Coke recipes matches classic Coca-Cola sales for the first time as consumers turn to healthier options

Alys Key
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Daisy Lowe at the Share a Coke launch party (Source: Coca Cola)

Health-conscious consumers are driving up demand for sugar-free alternatives to Coke, as the soft drinks giant reveals that sales of Coke Zero and Diet Coke now match those of regular Coke.

It is the first time ever that the combined sales of no-sugar Coca Cola have matched the original product in the UK. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is currently the fastest-growing UK cola, up 76.7 per cent since the start of this year.

The company is hoping to boost summer sales with the return of its Share a Coke campaign, this time with names of dream holiday destinations instead of people's names.

Read more: Coca Cola HBC's shares are fizzing as profit shoots up

The popularity of the sugarless drinks coincides with the growing customer base looking for healthy alternatives. Figures from Britvic showed earlier this year that a rise in sales of low and no sugar drinks has been accompanied by a decline in full sugar options.

Duncan Brewer, partner at Oliver Wyman’s retail and consumer practise, commented: “The recent growth in Coke Zero Sugar shows the continuing importance for fast-moving consumer goods firms to ensure they have products that appeal to different customer segments.”

He added: “By offering alternatives that taste (almost) the same, manufacturers can make it easy for consumers to be healthy, and prevent them from seeking out sugar-free options with competitors’ products.”

"This also helps manufacturers defend against any future tariffs on high sugar products, such as the UK government’s so-called sugar tax. If in the future higher prices drive customers away from their usual products it is important to have visible and palatable options to offer customers an easy alternative, while keeping them within the brand."

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