Coca-Cola tests lower calorie soda in Colatown

08/28/2014 6:42 PM

08/28/2014 6:45 PM

Columbia’s Fresh Market is among the test sites for the new Coca-Cola Life product, which has a third fewer calories and sugar than the original Coke.

Glass bottles of the new Coke, which uses a sweetener blend of sugar and the stevia leaf extract, went on sale this week at the Trenholm Plaza store, at the corner of Forest Drive and Trenholm Road in Forest Acres, and quickly sold out, said a manager. She said the store is expecting another shipment soon and expects to be able to keep it in stock regularly through its mid-October run.

The drink originally was introduced last year in Argentina and Chile. During its U.S. debut, it is available only in 65 Fresh Market stores in four Southeastern states. It has 89 calories in a 330-milliliter can, about 11 ounces. The same size can of regular Coke has 139 calories.

In recent years, beverage companies have been introducing and touting lower-calorie products amid declining sales and increasing worry over America’s obesity crisis.

Sweeteners made from the stevia plant, a native of Paraguay, are calorie-free and up to 200 times sweeter than table sugar.

Want to try it?

Shoppers can sample the new product in the store Sept. 27-28 and will receive a $1 off coupon for a six-pack.

Line your nest

Books published by the University of South Carolina Press are now available at one of Main Street’s newest retailers.

Nest, at Main and Hampton streets inside the Marriott Hotel, is the new brick-and-mortar home for Soda City Market, a Saturday morning market held on Main Street, according to a press release.

The store sells Southern works of art, ranging from furniture to fashion, the release said. Now, it is selling more than 300 of the USC Press’ most popular titles, including Walter Edgar’s “South Carolina: A History,” Jonathan Green’s “Gullah Images,” Nancy Roberts’ “South Carolina Ghosts” and Mary Whyte’s “Down Bohicket Road.”

The store also will host book signings during the First Thursday on Main evening events. First up Sept. 4 are editor Aïda Rogers, and contributors Cindi Boiter, Dianne Johnson and John Cely who compiled “State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love.”

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