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Coca-Cola's New Look Might Confuse Diet Coke Drinkers

You'll have to pay close attention to select your preferred product

Coca-Cola/Official

In an effort to "put a contemporary spin on a classic icon," Coca-Cola is undertaking a significant rebrand for its line of soft drinks. There won't be much of a change to the traditional red can for the company's original product, but Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Coca-Cola Life are getting a big dose of red in their packaging. The new cans and bottles, part of Coca-Cola's "One Brand" campaign, will look a lot more like the Classic brand, the company announced Monday.

Mexico is the first market to receive the new look, with a debut scheduled for the first week of May. Coke says similar versions will make their way to other markets around the world throughout 2016 and 2017. In addition to the new packaging, it appears some of the products will get a name adjustment in some markets, but that isn't expected in the United States. Nevertheless, longtime Diet Coke drinkers who are accustomed to reaching for the traditional silver can may find this reboot jarring.

There's no word yet on when the new cans and bottles will appear in the United States, but changes will not be made this year "due to an already packed marketing and promotional calendar." Other than standard marketing speak — "the new packaging is designed to enable consumers to choose the Coca-Cola that best suits their taste" — no tangible reason for the move has been announced. But, as with the introduction of Coke-branded virtual reality glasses, it's likely an attempt to catch a new generation of soda drinkers.

Update: Reached for comment, a Coca-Cola spokesperson provided Eater some details on what to expect from the U.S. rebranding.

"Coca-Cola North America is exploring a variety of 'One Brand' packaging graphics for the Coca-Cola Trademark. Due to an already packed promotion and marketing calendar, there will not be any changes made in 2016. The results of testing in North America will inform our packaging considerations for the Coca-Cola Trademark in 2017 and beyond.

"In markets like the United States where Diet Coke has a large and loyal fanbase, the business is considering how it will integrate Diet Coke into the 'One Brand' strategy."

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