Coke pulling plug on Life brand in UK


Coca-Cola is dropping its low-sugar Coke Life brand in the United Kingdom after sales of the distinctive green-labeled drinks fizzed out.

London’s Daily Mail, among others, reported that the drink will disappear from store shelves in England and other parts of the UK in June.

Coke said Coke Life lives on in the United States, however.

“Since its launch in 2014, Coca-Cola Life has been performing well in the U.S. market. We continue to invest in the brand, expand availability and packaging diversity nationally,” a Coca-Cola spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Coke and industry players blamed consumer confusion in the UK over where the drink fits in the line-up of drinks, as well the decision to scrap several sizes of cans and bottles, according to press reports.

The UK move could be bad news for two of Coke’s recent strategies to produce drinks with less sugar and smaller servings. The strategy has been the Atlanta beverage giant’s answer to slowing soda sales and complaints that its products are contributing to obesity.

Coke launched Life over two years ago as a healthier alternative to its traditional colas. The cola uses a hybrid mix of sugar and stevia leaf extract to produce drinks with about 35 t0 45 percent fewer calories, depending on the market.

According to the overseas news reports, the green cans and bottles initially came with 35 percent fewer calories than regular Coca-Cola, same as in the United States. But after two years of falling sales, the company cut the sugar level to roughly half as high as traditional Coke.

Last year, sales of Coca-Cola Life fell by 58 percent in the UK after the company scrapped several sizes of cans and bottles, the Daily Mail reported, citing a trade magazine, The Grocer.

Meanwhile, sales of Coca-Cola’s no-calorie versions, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, have grown significantly, the newspaper reported. Coca-Cola plans to boost its investment in that brand in the U.K., the newspaper said.



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