Our new recipe for Sprite has hit the shelves in Australia with a great refreshing Sprite taste but with 40% less sugar.
The new lower sugar Sprite is the latest move by Coca-Cola in Australia to deliver on our commitment to reduce sugar across our entire portfolio by 20% by 2025. It is one of the actions we are taking, as the nation’s largest beverage company, to do our part to support the wellbeing of Australians.
At Coca-Cola, we put the consumer at the heart of everything we do and that starts with giving people what they want. In Australia, we know that many people are becoming more conscious of the sugar they are eating and drinking and are choosing lower sugar options more often.
This trend over time is seen in the recent Australian Bureau of Statistics research which tracked overall sugar intake in Australia over a 16-year period and reported a downward trend.
Our commitment as a business to reduce the sugar across our portfolio of drinks in Australia is as important as our focus on ensuring we deliver the great refreshing taste our brands like Sprite are famous for.
Marketing manager, portfolio and sustainability, Anne Joly, has been listening carefully to what consumers want and she says Australians are increasingly aware of how much sugar they are consuming.
“We want to help Australians make the choices that are right for them and we can do our bit by offering them more great tasting no or lower-sugar drinks to choose from,” Anne said.
Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Bobbie Crothers, is one of the company’s in-house dieticians who worked on the new recipe for Sprite with 40% less sugar.
“This is why I do what I do,” she said.
“My passion is helping Australians make changes to improve their diet and wellbeing, and it’s been amazing to see a big company like ours take the lead in this space. I feel really proud.
“Years ago when I’d introduce myself as a dietitian at Coca-Cola, I would get funny looks, but now things are starting to change. People are asking for more lower-sugar options and they’re starting to realise we are listening,” Bobbie said.
Sprite brand manager, Charlotte McCrudden, said one of the key measures of success for the new lower-sugar recipe was ensuring it delivered on the great Sprite taste it is famous for in Australia and around the world.
She recalls there were a few challenges along the way, and more than a few tweaks to the final recipe, but believes the result was well worth the hard work.
“It took us a number of years and roughly 40 different recipes before we landed on a recipe we knew would meet our consumers’ high expectations of taste,” she said. “We will never compromise on that.”
The team working on the new Sprite with 40% less sugar carefully weighed up a number of factors when assessing the different recipes. Some of these included how removing sugar from a drink can impact how it feels in the mouth, how sweet and sour notes are balanced to achieve a great taste and how much acidity is just right.
The new ‘business as usual’
Sprite is one of 26 drinks that Coca-Cola in Australia has reduced sugar in since 2015 and there is more to come. Last year, we formally committed to reducing the average sugar content by 20% across our entire range of drinks by 2025.
Bobbie said she is proud of the progress the company has made in recent years and is looking forward to the next stage of the journey as Coca-Cola transforms into a total beverages company offering consumers more of the drinks they want, when they want them.
“It’s the ‘new business as usual’ for us,” she said.
“Reformulation is now a core part of how we do business at Coca-Cola. Whether it’s reducing sugar in an existing product like Sprite or introducing a new no or lower sugar option to the market, consumers can expect to see a lot more from us in the future.”