Saturday, October 08, 2005

Fresca Gets An Extreme Makeover

Fresca: Out with the old & In with the new

Fresca has been around for more than four decades providing Americans with a very distinctive and refreshing citrus-flavored sugar-free, caffeine-free drink to savor and enjoy. But times have changed since this unassuming diet soda first hit the market in the mid-1960s and Fresca's image is getting an extreme makeover.

I remember the first time I ever tried Fresca. I was doing an internship at a courthouse in Bolivar, Tennessee in the early 1990's for my undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee at Martin and I was on one of my infamous low-fat diets at the time. Every day I would go downstairs to the drink machine, put in my two quarters, and get what quickly became my favorite diet soda that summer -- FRESCA! I was attracted by the unique flavor and bought at least one (sometimes several) can per day. I fondly remember that tangy bit of enjoyment each and every day.

But, to be honest, I had forgotten about Fresca until I heard about the updated packaging that is coming.

The new contemporary look to the traditional Fresca image is being added along with two new flavors to spark newfound interest in a product that hasn't changed since it was first released. In addition to the original citrus flavor of Fresca, there is Peach Citrus Fresca and Black Cherry Citrus Fresca -- both of which are sugar-free (sweetened with aspartame and ACE-K) and caffeine-free.

"As one of Coca-Cola's most beloved brands, Fresca has always had a loyal following and we believe it has an opportunity to flourish with its new look and expanded flavor offerings," commented Coca-Cola North America Vice-President Venkatesh Kini. "We expect the revamped Fresca brand to resonate with people who have a sophisticated taste and are unwilling to compromise on flavor or calories."

I have to admit I was a bit more than skeptical about a citrus-flavored peach and black cherry drink. But my doubts were quickly erased when I tasted these for myself. I love black cherry and was pleasantly surprised by the jumping jacks my tastebuds were doing when the citrus and cherry flavors began waltzing across my tongue. Ooooh! That was incredible! But not nearly as incredible as when I tasted the peach-citrus combination. Yowsers! As someone who is not a big fan of peach flavor, I have to admit this Fresca was absolutely fantastic. These new line of products are definitely the most unique flavored sodas to come on the market in a very long time.

While I would personally like it better if they used Splenda instead of aspartame to sweeten Fresca, the fact that there are ZERO carbs, ZERO calories, ZERO caffeine and very little sodium in them makes me overlook that detail enough to go out and get this product when I need a break from the avalanche of diet sodas on the shelves today.

The slogan you will begin seeing for Fresca in the coming weeks will be, "Discover Fresca. Again." That's exactly what I did and I am glad I did. A 30-second television spot entitled "Fresca Dance" will show you the view from inside the Fresca can where there are colorful citrus bursts and bubbles surrounded by techno dancers strutting their stuff to convey the image that there's something exciting inside this new can of an old favorite. The new Fresca will be available in 12-ounce cans, 20-ounce bottles, 2-liter bottles and 12-pack of cans.

If it has been a while or if you have never tried Fresca for yourself, then you need to taste what you've been missing. Again!


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