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The History of Diet Coke

The Coca-Cola Company introduced Diet Coke in 1982, but it was not the company’s first diet soda. In 1963, the company had begun producing a low-calorie soda called Tab, but although it was successful among calorie-conscious consumers, research indicated that sales were limited by Tab’s name, which did not include the Coca-Cola trademark. In 1975, the Coca-Cola Company began developing a new diet soda. The company's technicians were able to develop a new, smoother flavor with less phosphoric acid. In 1983, one year after Diet Coke’s debut, the company began using aspartame as the drink’s main artificial sweetener, initially blending it with saccharin. Despite aspartame’s recent FDA approval in 1981, its effects on human health and beverage shelf-life were hotly contested, but Coca-Cola decided to include it as the primary sweetener anyway because it yielded a superior taste. It quickly became the best-selling soft drink in the United States. While Diet Coke remains a popular beverage choice today, the potential health effects of consuming diet soda and other foods made with artificial sweeteners remains a topic of research studies.

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