REVIEW: Coca Cola Zero Sugar & Face Off With Coke Zero!
JFG Nation, I don’t claim to be a Coke expert. I’ve drunk plenty of it, but I once worked with a guy who drank a six-pack of Diet Coke every work day. EVERY. WORK. DAY. He used to build himself a wall on his desk of empty Coke cans. HE was a Coke expert. Me? I’m just a guy with some taste buds, a website, and a home near a store that sells Coca Cola Zero Sugar. So let’s do this.
Today’s junk food: Coca Cola Zero Sugar!!
As Buzzfeed reported: In the latest sign that sugar is the new tobacco, Coca-Cola is relaunching Coke Zero as Coke Zero Sugar in the US, refining its message about the zero-calorie soda.
While the brand is now Zero Sugar, the words “zero calorie cola” also appear on the bottom of the bottle, reflecting a shift in consumers’ focus from cutting calories alone to reducing sugar intake.
Moreover: Coke Zero Sugar…is already available in Great Britain, Mexico, and more than 25 other countries, according to the company, and is doing well in those markets.
“Global volume growth for Coke Zero Sugar has stepped up over the last few years from mid-single digits [percentages] to high-single digits, and now it’s running in the teens,” said Quincey.
Basically, while people LOVE Coke Zero, Coca Cola Zero Sugar is apparently KILLING it overseas, so they are bringing it to the US. I know that many people went into panic mode, claiming they’d hoard Coke Zero like Bitcoins.
My local Harris Teeter had the new product, so I wanted to do a side by side compare. First, the ingredients:
Uh, these are EXACTLY THE SAME. So…different ratios, then?
Time for a taste. First, the “classic” Coke Zero:
Yep, good ol Coke Zero taste. Sweeter than Diet Coke with more Coke flavor, and the familiar aspartame flavor on the back end. On a hot summer day, an ice cold Coke Zero is near perfect.
Now, onto the new interloper: Coca Cola Zero Sugar!
GREAT. GOOGLY. MOOGLY.
DO THESE TASTE GOOD? YES! YES! WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!
WHY OR WHY NOT? Look, I said it at the beginning – I’m no Coke expert. I’m not going to be able to sit here and break down the spices, saying this has a little more cinnamon or some ish. And I’m not a constant Coke drinker, so don’t @ me with “oh this tastes WAAAY off” or “COKE ZERO FOREVER COKE ZERO SUGAR NEVER!”
Let me say this: THIS. TASTES. GREAT.
The basic reason is this: IT STILL TASTES LIKE COKE. But even better: IT TASTES MORE LIKE COCA COLA CLASSIC THAN COKE ZERO.
Hear me out: the best part of Coke Zero over Diet Coke is that the first flavor that hits your tongue is that perfectly blended Coke taste. Diet Coke has its own unique flavor which some of you worship and I don’t love, but Coke Zero approximates Coke flavor very well – for that first 2 second taste. Then as you swallow, and the soda goes down the throat and the flavor slides off the tongue, the aspartame DOES eventually hit – it always does. Even if you like the fact that you’re not drinking sugar, you can definitely tell that Coke Zero is still just a chemically matched sugar-free equivalent of Coca Cola Classic.
And what does Coca Cola Zero Sugar do? IT REDUCES THAT AFTERTASTE.
That’s what makes this better. While Coke Zero has Coke flavor for 2 seconds, and then let’s say 4 seconds of aspartame after taste, Coca Cola Zero Sugar has 4 seconds of Coke flavor and only 2 seconds of aspartame. And for me, that shift in the ratio of seconds of Coke flavor on my tongue to aspartame aftertaste is HUGE.
Again – I don’t drink Coke enough to know whether the “formula” is waaay off. All I know is that this Coca Cola Zero Sugar tastes more like Coke than Coke Zero does. Maybe I’m speaking blasphemy. You loyalists out there love to hate. But I’m telling you now: THIS. TASTES. GOOD.
I’m a fan. OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!
ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW? New and improved taste? INDEED.
PURCHASED AT: Harris Teeter, Potomac, MD.
WHERE FOUND IN STORE? End cap. So random.
COST? $2.00 for a mini 6-pack.