Diet Coke

Diet Coke
Diet Coke
The current Diet Coke logo was adopted in 2007.
Type Diet Cola
Manufacturer The Coca-Cola Company
Country of origin United States
Introduced 1982
Variants Diet Coke Caffeine-Free, Diet Coke with Lemon, Diet Coke with Lime, Diet Raspberry Coke, Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda, Diet Coke Plus
Related products Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola C2
Coca-Cola Zero

Diet Coke (also known as 'Diet Coca-Cola', Coca-Cola light or Coke Light) is a sugar-free soft drink produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. It was first introduced in the United States on August 9, 1982,[1] as the first new brand since 1886 to use the Coca-Cola trademark. The product quickly overtook the soft drink Tab in sales.

Diet Coke was sweetened with aspartame after the sweetener became available in the United States in 1983;[2] to save money, this was originally in a blend with saccharin. After Diet Rite cola advertised its 100 percent use of aspartame, and the manufacturer of NutraSweet (then, G.D. Searle & Company) warned that the NutraSweet trademark would not be made available to a blend of sweeteners, Coca-Cola switched the formula to 100 percent NutraSweet. Diet Coke from fountain dispensers still contains some saccharin to extend shelf life.[3]

Coca-Cola light logo

In other countries, in which cyclamates are not banned (as they were in the U.S. and the United Kingdom in 1970[citation needed]), Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Light may be sweetened with a blend containing cyclamates, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium.

In 2005, under pressure from retailer Wal-Mart (which was impressed with the popularity of Splenda sweetener), the company released a new formulation called "Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda".[4] Sucralose and acesulfame potassium replace aspartame in this version. Early sales were weaker than anticipated; however, Coca-Cola did little advertising for the brand, investing money and advertising in Coca-Cola Zero instead. By late 2009, some distributors had stopped supplying Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda.

Diet Coke does not use a modified form of the Coca-Cola recipe, but instead an entirely different formula. The controversial New Coke, introduced in 1985, used a version of the Diet Coke recipe that contained high fructose corn syrup and had a slightly different balance of ingredients. In 2004, Coca-Cola introduced Coca-Cola C2, which it claims tastes much closer to Coca-Cola but contains half the carbohydrates. In 2005, the company introduced Coca-Cola Zero, a sugar-free variation of regular Coca-Cola.

When Tab was released in 1963, the Coca-Cola Company refused to release a diet soda with the Coca-Cola name, fearing that its flagship brand might suffer. Its rival Pepsi had no such qualms, and after the long-term success of its sugar-free Diet Pepsi (launched in 1964) became clear, Coca-Cola decided to launch a competing sugar-free brand under the Coca-Cola name, which could be marketed more extensively than the more anonymous Tab.

Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have capitalized on the markets of people who require low sugar regimens, such as diabetics and people concerned with calorie intake. In the UK, a 330 ml can of Diet Coke contains around 1.3 calories (5 kilojoules) compared to 142 calories (595 kJ) for a regular can of Coca-Cola.

A 2009 Diet Coke bottle and can from the US.
A Diet Coke can from 1994 compared to one from 2009.
Diet Coke's Holiday 2008 Edition bottle and can compared to regular ones.
Coca-Cola light bottle from Germany.


Brand portfolio

Name Launched Discontinued Notes Picture
Diet Coke 1982 The first version of Coca-Cola without sugar. Diet coke 1980.jpg
Caffeine-Free Diet Coke 1983 The first version of caffeine free version of Diet Coke and the first extension of the Diet Coke formula. Caff Free Diet cke can.png
Diet Cherry Coke/Diet Coke Cherry 1986 Available in U.S. and United Kingdom (as of 2007).
Discontinued in Australia and Israel.
Diet Cherry coke.jpg
Diet Coke with Lemon 2001 2005 in USA Only available in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and Israel. The version sold in Continental Europe uses the Coca-Cola Light brand. Was available for a time in Australia. Diet coke lemon can.png
Diet Vanilla Coke/Diet Coke Vanilla 2002 2005 in USA Only available in Hong Kong, New Zealand (only 300mL and 600mL), Australia, Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Diet vanilla coke can.png
Diet Coke with Lime 2004 Available in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Was available for a time in Australia. Diet coke lime.png
Diet Raspberry Coke June 1, 2005 2006 Only Available in New Zealand, and Bosnia and Herzegovina[citation needed] Diet Raspberry coke can.png
Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda 2005 Sweetened with Splenda. Diet Coke with Splenda contains 2.83 mgs of caffeine per fluid ounce. The drink contains acesulfame potassium; aspartame was used previously as sweetener. Diet coke with splenda.png
Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla 2006 2007 Only Available in USA and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla.png
Coca-Cola Light Sango 2005 Only available in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and Bosnia and Herzegovina Sango coke can.png
Diet Coke with Citrus Zest 2007 Only available in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the United Kingdom. Diet Coke with Zest.png
Diet Coke Plus/Coca Cola Light plus 2007 Available in many European countries, U.S and Brazil Diet coke plus can.png
  • In the United States and most English-speaking countries, the soft drink is called Diet Coke or Diet Coca-Cola.
  • In most of continental Europe, the drink is marketed as Coca-Cola Light, but often referred to as Cola or Cola Light, and Coca or Coca Light in France.
  • In French-speaking Canada, it is called Coca-Cola Diète or Coke-Diète.
  • In Italy, the name Diet Coke was used between 1983 and 1991.
  • In Mexico, Central, South America and most of the Caribbean it is called Coca-Cola Light. In Mexico, it was introduced as Diet Coke in 1984, but it was renamed Coca-Cola Light in 1991.
  • In Brazil, it is called Coca-Cola Light - Baixas Calorias. Introduced in 1985 as Coca-Cola Baixas Calorias, it was renamed Coca-Cola Light in 1988.
  • In many English-influenced non-English markets (e.g., Israel), it is called Diet Coca-Cola.
  • In Japan, the soft drink was launched in 1984 as Coca-Cola Light, later in 1999, it was renamed Diet Coca-Cola, and since April 2007 it has been called No Calorie Coca-Cola.
  • In India it is called Diet Coke. After much campaigning against Coca-Cola in India, Coca-Cola still sells well in Chennai and other cities.
  • In most of Southeast Asia, it is called Coca-Cola Light or Coke Light.
  • In 2008 in Australia, Diet Coke cans were rebranded as Diet Coca-Cola.
  • As of 2009, Diet Coke supports The Heart Truth campaign, a national awareness campaign with a goal of better heart health for women.[5]


  • 1982 - Diet Coke is introduced, becoming the largest-selling low-calorie soft drink in America.
  • 1986 - Diet Cherry Coke is introduced in American markets.
  • 1994 - Diet Coke changes logo.
  • 1999 - Diet Cherry Coke changes logo.
  • 2001 - Diet Coke with Lemon is introduced.
  • 2002 - Diet Vanilla Coke is introduced.
    • Diet Coke and Diet Cherry Coke change logo.
  • 2004 - Diet Coke with Lime is introduced.
    • Diet Coke with Lemon changes logo.
  • 2005 - Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda is introduced.
    • Diet Cherry Coke and Diet Vanilla Coke change logos and are renamed.
  • 2006 - Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla is introduced.
    • Diet Coke with Lemon and Diet Coke Vanilla are discontinued.
  • 2007 - Diet Coke Plus is introduced.[6][7]
    • Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla is discontinued.
    • Diet Coke and its 6 flavors changes logo.
  • 2011 - Diet Coke surpasses Pepsi in sales for the first time to become the second most popular soda in the United States after Coca-Cola.[8]

Advertising slogans

The current Diet Coke logo was adopted in 2007
  • "Just for the taste of it!" (US 1982)
  • "The one of a kind" (US 1984)
  • "Just for the taste of it!" (US 1986)
  • "Taste it all!" (US 1993)
  • "This Is Refreshment" (US 1994)
  • "Just for the taste of it!" (US 1995)
  • "You are what you drink" (US 1998)
  • "Get the taste of it" (US 2000)
  • "Live Your Life" (US 2001)
  • "Do what feels good" (US 2002)
  • "It's a Diet Coke thing" (US 2004)
  • "Life is how you take it" (US 2005)
  • "Light it up!" (US 2006)
  • "Yours" (US 2007)
  • "Enjoyment" (US 2007)
  • "What life should be like." (US 2008)
  • "Just for the taste of it!" (US 2009)
  • "Hello You..." (UK 2009)
  • "I light it" (Spain 2010)
  • "Stay Extraordinary" (US 2010 and 2011)
  • "Love it light" (UK 2010)

Debate over health issues

The most commonly distributed version of Diet Coke (and majority of beverages using artificial sweeteners) relies on aspartame, which has been labeled as a toxic substance by internet rumors[9] and sensational media coverage.[10] However, aspartame is one of the most intensively scrutinized food additives and has been deemed safe by the American Medical Association, [11] the World Health Organization (WHO) and over 100 food regulatory agencies over the world.[12] See also soft drink controversy and health concerns.

Coca-Cola has now released Diet Coke sweetened with sucralose (also known as Splenda), although it is not as common.

The sodium benzoate was found to break down mitochondrial DNA in living yeast cells.[13] Research published in 2007 for the British government's Food Standards Agency suggests that sodium benzoate (E211) is linked to hyperactive behavior and decreased intelligence in children.[14] In January 2008 sodium benzoate (E211) was removed from production lines for Diet Coke sold in the UK, however it remains in other Coke products and other production locations.[15]


  1. ^ "See First Use in Commerce, Trademark Application, US Patent & Trademark Office."
  2. ^ Coke Beginning Aspartame Use, New York Times, p. D4, August 18, 1983
  3. ^ Ordoñez, Franco. "Suit Alleges Deceit in Fountain Diet Cola Drinks". Boston Globe, March 3, 2005. Accessed August 26, 2008.
  4. ^ "Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda." The Coca-Cola Company. 2009. Web. 9 Feb 2010.
  5. ^ "Our Partners." Diet Coke. The Coca-Cola Company, Web. 9 Feb 2010.
  6. ^ "The Diet Coke Story." Diet Coke. *2010 - The Coca-Cola Company, Web. 29 Jan 2010.
  7. ^ "Cola Marketing History." Solar Navigator. 2008. Max Energy Limited, Web. 29 Jan 2010.
  8. ^ "Top-10 CSD Companies and Brands for 2010". John Sicher, Editor & Publisher, Beverage Digest Company L.L.C.. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "A Web of Deceit". TIME. 1999-02-08.,9171,990167,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-19. "In this and similar cases, all the Nancy Markles of the world have to do to fabricate a health rumor is post it in some Usenet news groups and let ordinary folks, who may already distrust artificial products, forward it to all their friends and e-mail pals." 
  10. ^
  11. ^ ""
  12. ^ Mangnusen, Bernadine and Kantor, Mark A. ""
  13. ^ Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health from The Independent
  14. ^ Posch, Linda. "Food Additives, Hyperactivity & Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)." Leif Grunseth. 17 Oct. 2007. Web. 9 Feb 2010.
  15. ^ Crowley, Laura (2008-05-27). "Sodium benzoate removed from Diet Coke". Retrieved 2010-05-28. 

External links

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