Say Goodbye to 'Diet' Snapple

It may have a new name, but everything inside the bottle is remaining the same.

As a teenager, I remember traveling to Italy and seeing that, instead of Diet Coke, grocery stores sold Coca-Cola Light. It's the first time I really thought about this use of "diet" and how, yeah, it's a bit odd. According to CNN, "diet" drinks were born out of the success of Diet Rite which launched in 1958 as an option for people who needed to limit their sugar intake. But with the modern-day ubiquity of sugar alternatives, the idea of these beverages being associated with a "diet" has waned significantly.

No, America never got on the "Light" train. (Interesting fact, Coca-Cola says they considered it in the U.S., but it was already taken by another brand.) But in recent years, brands have been opting to drop the "Diet" moniker in favor of terms like "Zero" or "Zero Sugar." "Younger people just don't like the word 'diet," Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo Beverages North America, was quoted as saying this past December. "No Gen Z wants to be on a diet these days."

Bottles of Snapple peach iced tea and Diet Snapple peach iced tea on a store shelf
Luke Sharrett / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Another major beverage company who has been ditching "Diet" is Keurig Dr Pepper. They've already swapped the term with "Zero Sugar" for brands like 7Up, A&W, and Sunkist. Now, they've come to rename your Snapple, too.

Snapple announced this week that all "Diet Snapple" beverages will henceforth be labeled as "Snapple Zero Sugar." And the brand promises that will be the only change: The formulas for all of these drinks will remain exactly the same.

The result is a new name and packaging for six existing Snapple flavors now called Zero Sugar Peach Tea, Zero Sugar Lemon Tea, Zero Sugar Raspberry Tea, Zero Sugar Half n' Half Lemonade Iced Tea, Zero Sugar Takes 2 to Mango Tea, and Zero Sugar Trop-A-Rocka Tea — and one brand new flavor: Zero Sugar Kiwi Strawberry.

"The past few years, we have seen a major shift from diet culture in beverages, and the tea consumer is no different," Katie Webb, Keurig Dr Pepper's vice president of brand marketing, told us via email. "The decision to reposition Diet Snapple to Snapple Zero Sugar was a choice made to deliver on our consumer's needs. We're committed to the innovation behind the better-for-you zero sugar that still delivers the same great taste that our consumers have known and loved for decades."

In other words, and to paraphrase the great William Shakespeare, "That which we call Diet Snapple, by any other name would taste as sweet."

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