Coca-Cola ‘zeroing’ in with new replacement for Coke Zero drink

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ATLANTA, Georgia — Coca-Cola Zero drinkers beware; your current drink of choice is about to change.

Coca-Cola Co. announced Wednesday that it would replace no-calorie Coke Zero soda in the U.S. market with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar after foreign sales of the new recipe and brand showed encouraging signs.

To avoid the inevitable comparisons to the New Coke brand that flopped in the 1980s as a reformulated replacement for Coca-Cola, the beverage giant spent more than five years on research, recipe mixing and testing of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar before starting sales.

The company reported that foreign market sales of the no-calorie and low-calorie sodas were encouraging even though national sales ended up being flat.

Now sold in more than 25 markets, the new drink is set to hit the U.S. in August, Coke said Wednesday. Sales of no-calorie and low-calorie drinks rose in the “mid single digits,” with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in the “double digits,” the company said.

After Coca-Cola Zero Sugar hits the U.S., Coke Zero will be phased out.