A couple of weeks ago I notice a new Coke product in the cooler near the checkout stand. I do not think I had my head fully buried in the sand but I had not heard anything about it. I went home and checkout the website and found out that the product had just been announced a few days before and was only available in limited markets with a new big ad campaign coming soon. Two weeks later I have only heard one ad for it on the radio and I have yet to see any TV or newspaper ads. I finally got around to the taste test of "Coke Zero" and compared it to Diet Coke and Coca-cola (classic). The ads will claim that it has zero calories and the taste of classic Coke. I scanned in the label from the bottle for Coke Zero along with Diet Coke so you could compare the two. Both show the same nutritional facts and you will notice the only difference is the order of the ingredients. I should go into this taste test with the qualifications that I was a Coke drinker for the first 25 years of my life. I then switched to diet colas because I was too fat and at that point I switched to Diet Pepsi since I thought it tasted better and was not as sweat as Diet Coke.
I started the test with Coke classic to refresh my memory of the taste and then compared it to Coke Zero and then to Diet Coke. Coke Zero does taste closer to Coke than Diet Coke but it was very disappointing. Coke has the great almost aftertaste when you drink it that is hard to forget. Coke Zero tastes more like the store brand colas that try to pass themselves off as Coke – you know the kind that is the <insert store name here> cola, for example Safeway has their “Select Cola”. Coke Zero does differentiate itself from Diet Coke and I would be surprised if people switched from Diet to Zero. There may be some people that switch to Coke to a zero calorie soda but if you are going that route I would suggest you look at Diet Pepsi also. I guess I should have also compared Coke Zero to Diet Coke with Splenda but that just sounds wrong.
As a side note when I was in France two years ago the area I was in did not have Pepsi, at least I could not find it, so I drank Coca-Cola Light since I do not think that diet is a word in the French language. I took a couple of photos of the bottle (I am not sure why but I noticed them on my hard drive a few days ago) so I included them just for fun.