Coca-Cola’s controversial new packaging bet

Coca-Cola has launched a new packaging that aims to make it easier to distinguish the brand’s new flavours. The proposal has not taken long to stir up controversy on social networks.

When a brand as big as Coca-Cola makes a graphic change, it is always big news in the world of visual culture. In this case, the company has presented new packaging for Coca-Cola Café Mocha and another for the Coca-Cola Flavours line.

As Brandan Strickland, Coca-Cola’s brand director, explains, the proposal to create Coca-Cola in a coffee version stems from the need to increase the moments to consume a Coca-Cola: “We believe that Coca-Cola with coffee is the perfect option for those who want the stimulating and refreshing taste of a Coca-Cola with the familiar flavour of coffee”.

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New proposals

In January 2021, the first Coca-Cola coffee proposals went on sale with the flavours Dark Blend, Vanilla, Caramel and Vanilla Zero Sugar. Now, they have launched the Café Mocha version, a new proposal that will seek to succeed in this new sector. For all these new flavours they have designed a new packaging that stands out for being a longer can than usual with the label of each flavour and a simple reference to the coffee.

But the most relevant proposal in terms of packaging comes from Coca-Cola Flavours. This is the line that includes the new flavours launched by Coca-Cola and they have created new packaging to make it easier for consumers to differentiate them visually.

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The launch is highlighted by new vibrantly coloured cans for Cherry, Vanilla and Cherry Vanilla flavours and their sugar-free equivalents. They feature a bold logo positioned to clearly distinguish between sugar (white font) and zero sugar (black font). The single-coloured cans will be for single flavours and the two-coloured cans will be for flavour fusions.

The brand unveiled the first phase of this packaging change in 2021 for Coca-Cola Original Taste and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. “We wanted to modernise and simplify the look of our packaging to help consumers find the taste they are looking for on the shelf through a colourful yet clean design,” says Natalia Suarez, senior manager, Coca-Cola North America.

The new Coca-Cola Flavours packaging has not taken long to be criticised on social networks. The differentiation of the colours in the logo to indicate whether the Coca-Cola is Zero does not seem to be a very successful way of communicating. Many users have claimed that this measure poses problems of legibility.

For example, in the case of Cherry Coke, there is a black logo on a dark purple background. In the case of Vanilla Coke it is white on gold. It seems obvious that this mixture of colours gives problems of readability.


In recent months, Coca-Cola has launched different proposals for its visual identity that have been very popular. One of them was the modification of the logo for a recent campaign and another was the launch of a new minimalist packaging in April. We will see what the company surprises us with in the future.



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