The Coca-Cola Company Sweetener Challenge

The Sweetener Challenge seeks a natural, safe, low/reduced-calorie compound that tastes like sugar when used in beverages and foods. Read Overview...
Don't forget to check out the Sweet Story Challenge

Sugar.   Known also as sucrose (half glucose and half fructose), it sweetens most of what we enjoy eating and drinking.  Historically, sugar was extracted from sugar cane, which humans have been utilizing as a source of sweetener for thousands of years.  More recent developments have allowed for sweeteners to be derived from other plants, like beets and corn.  Sweeteners have evolved to include sugar alternatives and even naturally derived low- and no-calorie sweeteners.  As consumers continue to seek natural and low calorie options for their diets, these natural sweeteners provide new options.  While a tremendous amount of research has gone into the discovery and development of natural low- and no-calorie compounds, we still think there are novel compounds to be discovered and developed!

That’s why we are seeking your help: to find a natural, safe, reduced, low- or no-calorie compound that generates the taste sensation of sugar when used in beverages and foods.  The Coca-Cola Company is excited to sponsor The Coca-Cola Company Sweetener Challenge (the “Challenge”). 


Why Issue a Challenge? 

At The Coca-Cola Company, we are constantly innovating and refreshing our portfolio to meet the consumer’s tastes and lifestyles. And we know that amazing ideas can come from anywhere.  The Coca‑Cola Company Sweetener Challenge is looking for a natural, safe, reduced, low- or no-calorie compound that creates the taste sensation of sugar when used in beverages and foods.  We think that somewhere in the world, there is an individual or team of people who can solve our challenge!


The Challenge Breakthrough

The Coca-Cola Company Sweetener Challenge is looking for a natural, safe, reduced, low- or no-calorie compound that creates the taste sensation of sugar when used in beverages and foods.  The compound must not contain, or be derived from, Stevia or Lo Han Guo (Monk Fruit), or from any list of protected species or substances issued by any regulatory body in any country.


What Can You Do Right Now?

  • Read the complete challenge guidelines to see the rules and requirements for entry into the challenge.
  • “Accept Challenge” by clicking the orange button above to compete in the challenge. 
  • Follow the challenge above to be notified of any status updates to the challenge.
  • Share this challenge on social media using the icons above. Show your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for discovery.
  • Start a conversation in our Forum to join the conversation, ask questions or connect with other innovators.
Updates 29

The Coca-Cola Company Sweetener Challenge Update

April 6, 2018, 6 a.m. PDT by Paul Musille

When The Coca-Cola Company first launched the Sweetener Challenge in August 2017, we recognized that we were presenting the HeroX community with a particularly difficult task. The realm of sugar alternatives derived from natural sources has been highly studied for decades, and this contest to independently identify new compounds or molecules was a high bar for the contestants to meet. The difficulty of the challenge is evident in the submissions we received, as no entry sufficiently met the challenge’s minimum requirements to move into the semi-finalist round.


Therefore, after an extensive review of all entries, we will not be announcing a winning entry to The Sweetener Challenge and will be ending the contest. We commend all contestants’ efforts to explore new sugar alternatives, and encourage you to continue pursuing scientific innovation. The Company remains firmly committed to exploring and bringing to market new sugar alternatives that help us keep the great tastes people love but with less sugar and fewer calories. We also remain committed to pursuing innovation inside and outside of our company. Please follow Coca-Cola Journey for information on our progress.

The Coca-Cola Company is still evaluating submissions

Feb. 21, 2018, 8:14 a.m. PST by Paul Musille

The Coca-Cola Company is still evaluating submissions to The Sweetener Challenge. Please stand by for more information. Thank you for your patience.

8 Hours Remaining to Submit!

Jan. 18, 2018, 6 a.m. PST by Joeana Lutha Mae Villo

If you're still assembling your submission, you have exactly 8 hours left to complete it! Remember, if you're planning to submit today, be sure to get it in well before the 5:00 pm ET cut-off.

Here's a Tip: HeroX recommends innovators plan to submit with at least a 3-hour window of time before the true deadline. Last-minute technical problems and unforeseen roadblocks have been the cause of many headaches. Don't let that be you!

Two Day Warning

Jan. 16, 2018, 2 p.m. PST by Joeana Lutha Mae Villo

This is your official two-day reminder!

That's right, the Coca-Cola Company Sweetener Challenge will be closing this coming January 18th at 5:00 pm Eastern Time (New York/USA).

Please be sure to complete your submission form well before the exact cut-off time.

At exactly 5:00 pm ET, we can no longer accept new submissions!

Got questions?

Now is the time to speak up! Comment directly on this update with any questions about the submission process and we'll get back to you right away!

Five Days Left to Submit (TIPS)

Jan. 13, 2018, 2 p.m. PST by Joeana Lutha Mae Villo

We are quickly approaching the final days open for submission to the Coca-Cola Company Sweetener Challenge. The deadline is January 18th at 5:00 pm Eastern Time (New York/USA.)

Here are couple of last-minute tips for a smooth entry process:

1. Begin your submission process several days before the cutoff time. This allows you to ensure everything you have been working on can be seamlessly integrated into the form.

2. Your submission will not be reviewed until you click the orange "Submit Entry" button at the top of the final review page. Please remember to do this!

3. Review the Challenge Guidelines to ensure your submission is complete. Pay particular attention to the judging criteria which will be the scorecard used to evaluate your entry.

4. Have any questions? Head over to the challenge forum and we would love to help you out.

Thanks so much, and good luck to all!

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