It was Coca-Cola’s biggest new product launch in 10 years, but Australia’s largest retailer, Woolworths, is refusing to stock Coca-Cola No Sugar. The new product was launched recently in New Zealand and Australia, touted as a sugar-free cola that tastes “a lot like the real thing”.
In the biggest product launch since Coke Zero hit the shelves in 2006, Coca-Cola in Australia is handing out more than 2 million free samples to consumers and has launched a national advertising campaign on free-to-air television, outdoor and social media, using the slogan “say yes”.
But Woolworths is saying ‘NO’, arguing consumers already have enough choice of Coca-Cola products, including Coca-Cola with Stevia, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, classic Coca-Cola and Vanilla Coke. There is just not enough room on store shelves for yet another variant, particularly when more consumers are turning to bottled water and eschewing carbonated soft drinks, said a spokesperson.
Woolworths may reconsider its position when Coca-Cola phases out Coke Zero early next year.
Australian consumers are increasingly turning to still and carbonated water as thirst quenchers with sales booming and Mount Franklin the most popular brand. Interestingly, Australian bottler Coca-Cola Amatil owns Mount Franklin.
Another big player, Pizza chain Domino’s has also just ditched Coca Cola-Amatil as its soft drink supplier in favour of Pepsi/Schweppes for Domino’s franchisees. In a statement, a Domino’s spokesperson said the new range will take place from September.
Domino’s Chief Executive Australia New Zealand Nick Knight said the decision to stock Pepsi/Schweppes over Coca-Cola brands followed an extensive tender process and online customer testing.