business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the Coca-Cola Co. is concerned that its new Coke Zero product has not lived up to expectations, in part because consumers are confused because the company simultaneously launched Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda.

The company is responding to the problem by creating new commercials that it hopes will better differentiate Coke Zero from other soft drinks.

However, while saying that Coke Zero has a less than one percent market share, short of the 1.5 percent that Coca-Cola thought it would have, the WSJ notes that Coke will not officially acknowledge that it is having any problems with Coke Zero.
KC's View:
The possibility, of course, is that the problem with Coke Zero isn’t one of perception…but maybe that there simply are too many soft drink products in the marketplace and that consumers are responding to the glut with a communal shrug.

We’ve seen too many customers and heard too many customers respond to the enormous selection with looks and words of confusion. While we know that new products are supposed to drive the business, you just have to wonder if people are just overwhelmed.