Coke Is Introducing A New Product. Will It Help Revive The Soda Industry?

According to the New York Post, a new low-calorie Coca-Cola product may hit U.S. shelves next year. Company CEO Muthar Kent recently spoke with the paper about Coca-Cola Life, which is sweetened with sugar and zero-calorie stevia and made its debut in Argentina earlier this year. A 20-ounce serving of the soda contains 100 calories, which is less than half of the calories that are in a 12-ounce can of regular Coke. Is this new product a well-meaning attempt to help slim down waistlines, however, or a sign of ongoing trouble for the soda industry?

It's no secret that there has been some craziness lately in the world of sugary soft drinks. New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's crusade against large-sized sodas was well-publicized, and Pepsi was hush-hush about changing around its formula in the face of dwindling profits around this time last year. Other Pepsi products have featured celebrity faces on cans and blocking fat. A recent announcement by Coca-Cola could spell the end for "Mexican Coke" as the soda giant tries to cut costs. It appears that Coca-Cola Life is targeted towards those who question the safety of aspartame, which is yet another concern facing all diet soda companies.

Meanwhile, at-home soda machine SodaStream is quickly ascending the ranks as a popular holiday gift. The company's shares shot up 38 percent during the last calendar year, while store shares of diet soda industry-wide fell close to seven percent in the past year. The numbers are significant, and it's clear that the soda industry is pulling out all the stops to ensure the continuation of cavity-inducing enjoyment nationwide. Will it work or will soda consumption keep plummeting? Only time will tell.

Check out these Big Ideas on Food Republic: