When you make your way through the soda aisle on your next grocery run, you may not see as much of the word “diet” as before. Some diet sodas are disappearing, but they won’t actually be gone, they’re just getting a name makeover. Several brands are ditching the term “diet” and rebranding them as “zero sugar.”
Many brands, including Canada Dry and Schweppes ginger ales, 7Up, A&W and Sunkist , all made by Keurig Dr Pepper, will now be calling their no-calorie soft drinks “zero sugar” instead of “diet.” One exception? Dr Pepper, which will still offer Diet Dr Pepper, as well as a different zero sugar version. The reason for the switch? The term “diet” just isn’t cool anymore, especially for Millennials and Gen Z-ers.
“Younger people just don't like the word 'diet," explains Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo Beverages North America. “No Gen Z wants to be on a diet these days.” But just because they’re not fans of the word diet doesn’t mean they don’t like drinking no-cal sodas. In fact, sales for diet and zero-calorie soft drinks are up about 19.5% from 2018. So as attitudes toward the idea of dieting evolve, soda makers are taking the emphasis off diet branding and promoting the zero-sugar sodas, even though those brands owned by Keurig Dr Pepper are still selling the exact same drink.