All you Diet Coke fans out there, listen up, because you may find what I have to say rather interesting (this group includes our own Alyce Lomax). There's going to be a new Diet Coke on the market soon. What's going to make it different? Splenda, that's what.

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) intends to satisfy aficionados of artificial sweetener Splenda by combining that product with the Diet Coke brand. The new product won't replace the old but rather is another addition to Coca-Cola's Diet Coke line.

Splenda comes courtesy of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary McNeil Nutritionals. That company is sure to welcome this product launch -- after all, Diet Coke should guarantee some nice sales for sucralose. (For more information on how splendid Splenda is, check out this article written by Rich Duprey.)

I drink Diet Coke and in fact have used it to surprising success in my goal to reduce my dependency on the sugary flagship soda put out by PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP). (How's this for ironic -- I'm a long-term shareholder of Coca-Cola stock, yet I prefer Pepsi. Oh, well.) I avoided diet sodas for years but found that Diet Coke really does taste pretty good -- I don't find any real aftertaste associated with it, and in fact I am starting to prefer it over Pepsi (although I will never give up sugar-flavored carbonated water completely, that's for sure).

Because of this affection for the product, I am a bit biased at this announcement. Consider: Will people already infatuated with Diet Coke want to switch over? If so, will that render Diet Coke obsolete? However, what if sales aren't afflicted by cannibalization concerns? Does that mean that the Splenda-enhanced diet beverage will suffer the same fate as C2, which hasn't exactly taken over the American marketplace?

All of this raises a lot of questions, but that's what a new product initiative is all about -- an exploration of the unknown that is hopefully mitigated by as scientific an approximation as conceivable of what the consumptive public truly wants. I definitely am behind such a brand extension as a way of helping revenues, but the company had better be sure it has a competent marketing machine behind this scheme. Many in the business media -- including some Fools here -- have been critical of Coca-Cola's current ability (or lack thereof) at marketing its portfolio. I'm one of them, and I urge Coca-Cola not to drop the ball on this. In my opinion, a new Diet Coke represents a profound opportunity, more so than, say, a lime-flavored Coke drink. So, let's get this right, powers-that-be.

Recent articles on Coca-Cola, as well as the anti-Coke, PepsiCo:

Philip Durell recently recommended Coca-Cola for subscribers of Motley Fool Inside Value . Want to know what else he has his eye on? Take a free, no-obligation trial today.

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Coca-Cola. Share your opinion on the new Diet Coke by posting some refreshing thoughts on the Coca-Cola discussion board.