Coke to launch new no-calorie soda

Coca-Cola Zero
Coca-Cola ZeroCoca-Cola
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Coca-Cola Co. said Monday it will launch a no-calorie version of its trademark soft drink called Coca-Cola Zero in the United States in June.

The drink will be sweetened partly with a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium. Aspartame is a key ingredient in Diet Coke, but a spokesman for the Atlanta-based company said Coca-Cola Zero will have a unique taste.

The new drink will have its own marketing campaign.

With the rollout of Coca-Cola Zero, there will be a half-dozen different versions of trademark Coca-Cola on the market. There are also several different varieties of Diet Coke, including the recently announced rollout of Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda.

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc. also has several different varieties of Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, including a one-calorie cola called Pepsi One, which is sweetened with Splenda. Spokesman Dave DeCecco said Pepsi does not have any current plans for a zero-calorie version of Pepsi.

Officials at both companies have said they believe consumers are increasingly interested in variety and they are not worried about market confusion by all the different drinks.

"We work hard to minimize that by making sure all of our brands have distinct graphics and marketing," Coke spokesman Scott Williamson said.