The book of Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell - "Inside Coca-Cola. The history of the No. 1 brand through the eyes of the legendary CEO" describes the history of the emergence of Coca-Cola Zero:
"At a meeting in September, I instructed our specialists to taste the drink, use the original Coca-Cola formula for Coke Zero and add not Splenda (Sucralose or trichlorogalactosucrose - ed.), but our best sweeteners in this or that country.
One scientist from the old guard immediately objected : "This cannot be done. Mr. Goizueta and before him Mr. Woodruff pointed out that we cannot use the Coca-Cola formula anywhere other than Coca-Cola Classic."
I replied simply: "When you want get new instructions? " In the ensuing silence, a feather could be heard falling.
The launch of Coke Zero, which was supposed to taste as close as possible to Classic Coke, was the most successful since Diet Coke. The product attracted old Coca-Cola consumers. who did not like the taste of Diet Coke and who reduced their consumption of classic Coca-Cola. Now they could drink one classic Coke and two Coke Zero per day. "
Well, in short, Coca-Cola Zero is an ordinary Coca-Cola, only sweetener added instead of sugar. And this is its main difference from Coca-Cola light (aka Diet) - where the changes affected not only sugar, but also the flavor formula of the drink.
Advertising does not cheat. Coca-Cola Zero really has no sugar, it uses a sweetener instead. It's easy to check - pour the bottle into a saucepan and evaporate over low heat. Plain Coca Cola will turn into syrup, and Zero will evaporate almost dry.