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Coke's New Low-Cal, Low-Sugar Soda Is Designed to Quiet Critics

Coke Life
Coke LifePhotograph by Claudio Santisteban/Corbis

In the central lobby of the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta, a glass display case features all the types of carbonated drinks currently sold by the company. There’s the classic red can and its no-calorie iterations: Diet Coke and Coke Zero. Then there’s Sprite, Fresca, and the citrus rainbow that is Fanta. Over on the left is a small green can that most American visitors won’t recognize: Coca-Cola Life, a stevia-sweetened version of regular Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola has been quietly test-marketing its new beverage, the first addition to the trademark “Coke” branded sodas in almost eight years. It released the drink in Argentina and Chile last year, and this fall it’s launching in the U.K.

Coke Life isn’t exactly a diet drink. According to the Guardian, it contains more than four tablespoons of real sugar and has about 89 calories per can—less than the 140 calories found in a can of regular Coke, but hardly something that will be championed by the quinoa crowd.