Diet Coke turns 25


July 15, 2007

July 16, 2007 It’s just 25 years since Diet Coke burst onto the scene and forever changed the beverage landscape by catering to a society paying homage to a healthy lifestyle. So well did Diet Coke hit the mark that it is now a business school text book case study, as the most valuable brand extension in marketing history and the most successful launch in beverage history. The brand was launched in the United States on July 29, 1982, and was so immediately successful that it was followed just six months later with an international roll-out. By 1984, it was the number three sparkling beverage in the United States, a title it has held since. In 1986, it became the number one low-calorie sparkling beverage in the world. Today the brand, including both Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Light, is available in 173 countries and has a 40 percent share of the global diet sparkling beverage segment. For those who worship at the altar of smoke and mirrors, there’s a commemorative can.

“When Diet Coke debuted in 1982, the brand struck a chord by inviting people to drink it ‘Just for the Taste of It.’ Offering the authenticity of the Coca-Cola name with no calories, Diet Coke was exactly what people wanted,” said Katie Bayne, chief marketing officer, Coca-Cola North America. “A quarter-century later, Diet Coke remains the world’s favorite no-calorie sparkling beverage.”

Diet Coke helped define the low-calorie segment of the beverage industry at a time when sales of “diet” beverages were a fraction of what they are today.

“For almost 100 years, until the introduction of Diet Coke, the flagship Coca-Cola name had never been extended to another brand,” said Philip Mooney, director, Archives, The Coca-Cola Company. “The launch of Diet Coke pioneered groundbreaking product innovations in the beverage industry and helped to accelerate the success of a Company that now offers more than 400 different beverage brands around the world.”

Diet Coke has been an innovation leader for the past 25 years. Since the launch of Caffeine-free Diet Coke, the first extension of the Diet Coke brand, in 1983, Diet Coke has kept pace with its fans’ changing desires for variety with new product offerings. This tradition continues today with the introduction of Diet Coke Plus, which contains additional vitamins and minerals.

To celebrate the brand's quarter-century, limited edition vintage Diet Coke T-shirts, 25th anniversary contour bottles and other commemorative items will be available through My Coke Rewards.

Special 25th anniversary Diet Coke silver sleek cans will be available exclusively in the Atlanta area, Diet Coke’s birthplace.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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