This story was originally published by FMCG Businesses NZ and was republished here with permission.
Shoppers in New Zealand are in for a sweet surprise when they become the first in the world to try the new ‘Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar’ when it hits shelves on Monday 7 May.
After over 10 years of continuous innovation with stevia, Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar is the very first Coca-Cola product sweetened ONLY with stevia, which is derived from a natural source – the leaf of the stevia plant. In addition to being 100% sweetened with Stevia, it’s a low kilojoule beverage containing just 1.3 kilojoules per 100mls.
“Kiwis are innovative by nature and love to try new things. We jumped at the chance to launch Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar. On 7th May, the New Zealand public will be the first people in the world to try our delicious new low kilojoule beverage.
The introduction of Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar highlights the company’s commitment to actively encourage people to drink less sugar.
“Increasingly, we are seeing Kiwis wanting to drink less sugar, so we have been working hard for a number of years to develop different drinks that suit every lifestyle and occasion that still taste great.
“Stevia is derived from a natural source – the leaf of the stevia plant. It’s 200 times sweeter than table sugar and has no kilojoules meaning we can use much less. Our continuous innovation on stevia has allowed us to develop a delicious tasting beverage sweetened 100% from stevia and is low kilojoule.”
Balancing what Kiwis want is no simple task, says George Droumev, Technical Director of Coca-Cola South Pacific. “People still have the desire for drinks that taste good, but don’t necessarily want the sugar. They want the same taste as the drinks they grew up with, but don’t want the kilojoules. There has always been some sort of trade-off. Our task was to solve all of these challenges.”
“Our team and our partners have spent almost ten years working with stevia, a sugar alternative from a natural source – the stevia plant. It was not as simple as finding a sweetener and swapping that out for sugar. It had to have a taste that people will love. Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar is the result of thousands of hours working with the stevia plant to get the best from it.
“What is new, and a breakthrough with this beverage is that we are using a very specific part of the stevia leaf as a sweetener that tastes delicious and has a clean aftertaste.”
“There aren’t too many sugar alternatives around that are derived from a natural source and we think our recipe with 100% stevia and no sugar is a big deal. We believe we’ve come up with a product that takes away the trade-offs and we’re excited for Kiwis to try it,” says Droumev.
“We’ve worked hard to meet the expectations of Kiwis and we are confident they will love the newest permanent addition to the Coca-Cola range.”
Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar will be available on Monday 7 May in all major and independent retailers across the country. It will replace Coca-Cola Life and be available in an extensive range of pack sizes and formats including 300ml PET bottle, 600ml PET bottle, 1.5L PET bottle, 6x250ml cans, 330ml glass.