Coca-Cola HBC has announced that it is introducing new pack sizes ahead of the Irish government's tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, which is set to come into effect on 6 April.
The company says that the price per litre of Coca-Cola Classic will increase as a direct result of this tax, so it is introducing more options for consumers.
The full Coca-Cola range will continue to be available in 500ml bottles, 1.25-litre bottles, and 330ml cans, however, from April, a number of new pack sizes will be introduced for Coca-Cola Classic beverages.
Coca-Cola HBC is introducing smaller, more convenient packaging, including a 250ml slimline can, as well as 375ml and 1.5l PET bottles. Multipacks will also be available in smaller sizes.
Matthieu Seguin, general manager of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, said that the new range will provide "affordable options" for consumers once the new tax comes into effect.
“We also know that our consumers want to manage their sugar intake, and this has driven our approach to reformulation and new product development," Seguin said.
"We have consistently diversified our portfolio and reduced the sugar across our range. The majority of the drinks we sell are now lower in sugar, except for the much-loved Coca-Cola Classic and some of our energy drinks and mixers, which remain unchanged," he added.
The company said that Coca-Cola's extensive reformulation of its drinks over the past few years means that the majority of the company's portfolio will be exempt from the tax, including Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke.
Since 2010, Coca-Cola has reduced sugar across its portfolio on the island of Ireland by around 13%. Currently, more than 60% of its sales are of products that contain less than 5g of sugar per 100ml.
In spite of these developments, the group says that the recipe of its original Coca-Cola beverage will remain unchanged.
"People love the taste of Coca-Cola Classic and have told us not to change it," said Seguin.
"However, our research did reveal that our consumers wanted greater options to help manage their sugar intake, and these smaller, more convenient pack sizes in Coca-Cola Classic will allow them to do just that," he added.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.