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R.I.P., Coke Zero: The five stages of ice-cold grief

Coca-Cola Zero’s ingredient list is the same as Coke Zero’s, but the company says it has tweaked the “blend of flavors.” (Rodger Macuch/Coca-Cola via Associated Press)

Coca-Cola announced Wednesday that it would retool its beloved no-calorie drink, Coke Zero, into a new beverage called Coke Zero Sugar in August. A thunderous outcry ensued. Coke Zero is very popular, and distraught fans of the drink took to Twitter to protest and mourn, reminding Coke of the disaster that was New Coke in 1985, a historic catastrophe they were certain the company was about to repeat.

“Rest in power, Coke Zero. You deserved far better than what little this cruel, unappreciative world had to offer,” wrote Jay Willis in GQ.

As The Post’s Caitlin Dewey points out, Coke Zero Sugar’s ingredient list is exactly the same as Coke Zero’s, though the company says it has tweaked the “blend of flavors.” The beverage has already been rolled out in other countries, where people say it tastes the same as Coke Zero. The move is a way for the brand to further distance itself from the word “diet,” as sales of diet-branded sodas continue to fall.

“We’re confident that loyal Coke Zero fans will love the new-and-improved recipe, and that fans of original Coca-Cola looking to reduce their sugar intake will want to try it, too,” wrote Coke, in its announcement of the change.

Good luck with that, Coke. Everyone is losing their minds. Reactions to the news followed the classic Elisabeth Kübler-Ross model of grieving. Witness:






Don’t lose hope. Just think: If the rollout goes really badly, in a few months, we could see Coke Zero Classic on shelves.

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