Diet Coke (also known as Diet Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light or Coke Light) is a sugar-free soft drink produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. It was first introduced in the United States on August 9, 1982, as the first new brand since 1886 to use the Coca-Cola trademark.
Diet Coke was sweetened with aspartame after the sweetener became available in the United States in 1983; to save money, this was originally in a blend with saccharin. In other countries, in which cyclamates are not banned (as they were in the U.S. and the United Kingdom in 1970), Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Light may be sweetened with a blend containing cyclamates, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium.
In 2005, under pressure from retailer Wal-Mart (which was impressed with the popularity of Splenda sweetener), the company released a new formulation called "Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda". Sucralose and acesulfame potassium replace aspartame in this version. Early sales were weaker than anticipated; however, Coca-Cola did little advertising for the brand, investing money and advertising in Coca-Cola Zero instead. By late 2009, some distributors had stopped supplying Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda.
Diet Coke does not use a modified form of the Coca-Cola recipe, but instead an entirely different formula. The controversial New Coke, introduced in 1985, used a version of the Diet Coke recipe that contained high fructose corn syrup and had a slightly different balance of ingredients. In 2004, Coca-Cola introduced Coca-Cola C2, which it claims tastes much closer to Coca-Cola but contains half the carbohydrates. In 2005, the company introduced Coca-Cola Zero, a sugar-free variation of regular Coca-Cola.
|Diet Coke||1982||The first version of Coca-Cola without sugar.|
|Caffeine-Free Diet Coke||1983||The first version of caffeine-free Diet Coke and the first extension of the Diet Coke formula.|
|Diet Cherry Coke/Diet Coke Cherry||1986||Available in the U.S. and U.K. (as of 2007). Discontinued in Australia and Israel.|
|Diet Coke with Lemon||2001||2005 in the USA||Only available in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and Israel. The version sold in Continental Europe uses the Coca-Cola Light brand. Was available for a time in Australia.|
|Diet Vanilla Coke/Diet Coke Vanilla||2002||2005 in the USA||Only available in Hong Kong, New Zealand (only 300mL and 600mL), Australia, Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina.|
|Diet Coke with Lime||2004||Available in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Was available for a time in Australia.|
|Diet Raspberry Coke||June 1, 2005||2006||Only available in New Zealand, and Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda||2005||2011||Sweetened with Splenda. Diet Coke with Splenda contains 2.83 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce. The drink contains acesulfame potassium; aspartame was used previously as sweetener.|
|Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla||2006||2007||Only available in the USA and Bosnia and Herzegovina.|
|Coca-Cola Light Sango||2005||Only available in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Diet Coke with Citrus Zest||2007||Only available in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the United Kingdom.|
|Diet Coke Plus||2007||2011||Available in many European countries, U.S. and Brazil|