Coca Cola Life is a product from the think tank of the Coca Cola Company that is essentially a stevia-sweetened version of the regular formula. According to Suddath (2014) the company has “been quietly test-marketing its new beverage, the first addition to the trademark ‘Coke’ branded sodas in almost eight years. It released the drink in Argentina and Chile last year and this fall it’s launching in the U.K. As such, given its newness in the marketplace and a global movement toward having a reduction in the amount of sugar in their beverages , it stands to reason that the country of Belgium will embrace the less sweet drink. The country of Belgium is known for waffles, chocolate and mayonnaise and thus, because of this wide spectrum of notoriety, Coca Cola Life will undoubtedly work well within the cuisine. There are plans presently for Belgium to receive Coca Cola Life in early 2015.
Bouckley (2011) argues that Belgium is quite familiar with stevia. The first staple item to be stevia-ized was chocolate and the manufacturer of them, Cavalier, noted that the sales would be exceptional because of the positivity surrounding chocolate and the fact that Belgians love the sweet treat. Due to this fact, the country is considered per a variety of data to have adapted to the taste of stevia. The OECD Better Life Index (2014) notes that wellbeing is a driving force behind Belgium and that “62% of people aged 15 to 64 in [the country] have a paid job.” An impressive fact, this means that education is a key component for the country and that individuals purchasing products like Coca Cola thoroughly understand what to look for as far as health. Coca Cola hopes that with the launch of ‘Life’ in other countries such as Sweden and Great Britain that the Belgian people will look at other options when seeking out a soft drink.
Suddath (2014) goes on to state that it is important to say that Coke Life is not a diet soda. Those in Belgium that are wanting a diet soda will unfortunately have to look elsewhere. “Instead, Coke Life is Coca-Cola’s answer to the two-health concerns that have been hitting the company’s soda sales with a one-two punch: the anti-sugar movement, and the perception that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are unhealthy and can even contribute to weight gain.” Coca-Cola then is unleashing Coke Life onto the Belgian population for two specific reasons: because the popularity of Coca-Cola has fluctuated throughout the years particularly after the issues in 1999, that caused a prohibition and the fact that it [Coke Life that is] tackles the sugar issue that is causing high epidemics of obesity on a global level. Coca-Cola also has a significant amount of market data to draw from in terms of understanding that the Belgians are likely to be attracted to the low-calorie, stevia option.
According to a Euromonitor International Report, Belgians are moving toward organic products across a variety of beverage categories. Supermarket shoppers are considering reduced sugar products even in premium products. This has been occurring for years, but the trend in statistical data is reflected as far back as 2012. Therefore, Coca-Cola is relatively safe in marketing this particular product to the country of Belgium. Substantial data backs up said statement given the many different dynamics of the country with respect to economics, culture and demographics.
- “Belgium.” OECD Better Life Index. http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/belgium/ (accessed October 29, 2014).
- Bouckley, Ben. “Belgian firm gears-up for first ever UK stevia chocolate launch.” ConfectioneryNews.com. http://www.confectionerynews.com/Manufacturers/Belgian-firm-gears-up-for-first-ever-UK-stevia-chocolate-launch (accessed October 29, 2014).
- Euromonitor International. “Soft Drinks in Belgium.” Soft Drinks in Belgium. http://www.euromonitor.com/soft-drinks-in-belgium/report (accessed October 29, 2014).
- Mowbray, Nicole. “Sweet Nothing.” Vogue, January 9, 2014. http://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/2014/01/09/giving-up-sugar—nicole-mowbray-on-sugar-free-diets (accessed October 29, 2014).
- Suddath, Claire. “Coke’s New Low-Cal, Low-Sugar Soda Is Designed to Quiet Critics.” Bloomberg Business Week. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-17/cokes-new-low-cal-low-sugar-soda-is-designed-to-quiet-critics (accessed October 29, 2014).