I’ve never really been a fan of Diet Coke, but I figured I’d give this new Coke Zero stuff a whirl, and sure enough, it tastes exactly the same to me. Then I started to scratch my head and think; what if this Coke Zero product was merely a ploy by the Coca Cola company to market the EXACT same formula as Diet Coke, only under a different name. It’s really quiet genius if you think about it. I mean, there are those die-hard coke fans out there that refuse to drink anything but good old Coca Cola classic. To give them a diet coke would be like holding them down and dumping a vial of poison down their throats. BUT, maybe this new fancy schmancy Coke Zero stuff is different. It’s like the man’s man of diet coke – no real man would be seen drinking diet soda, for it might ruin his rugged and masculine reputation, but hand him a Coke Zero, and voila! he’s now drinking the fashionable and trendy soda of the new millenium. It’s the soda for metrosexuals!
So I started to do some research on the internet to find that a lot of interesting information. First of all, many people found there to be a remarkably large difference in taste between tDiet Coke and Coke Zero. On the other side of the spectrum, many people found there to be absolutely no difference in taste. Interestingly enough, I found out the FDA rounds all caloric values to the nearest 10 value, so essentially, if the amount of calories is less than 5 per serving, you can label it as 0 calories. So, does Coke Zero really have 0 calories or are you consuming a whopping 5 calories per serving unbeknownst to you? I also read that Coke Zero is nearly identical to Diet Coke with only two minor differences: Zero has half the aspartame and more acesulfame potassium. Like aspartame, Acesulfame potassium is a calorie-free sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. You say potato, I say cancer-causing artificial sweeter.
Now that we’ve determined what the slightly major difference between the two products are, I have to wonder; why develop a product such as Coke Zero? Why do consumers need yet another diet cola product that is so grotesquely simillar to it’s predecessor that most people can’t tell the difference anyway? These are the types of questions that keep me awake at night (or maybe it’s just the caffeine from all that Coke sampling I’ve been doing for this article). Then I read this response from someone on a teamliquid.net message board:
“I'm currently weening myself off Coke. I would buy 12 packs of Coke (or multiple 12 packs, if it was on sale that way) and drink 5-6 coke cans per day. I must've gained 10-15 pounds during this time. It's been a week since I've had a coke. It sucks going without it... it's weird how sometimes my body will just say "NEED COKE" and I'll walk around the kitchen or basement feeling like I'm missing something.”
While this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, I thought it was pretty hilarious. It’s not crack, man, it’s Coca Cola.
Finally, in my Coke Zero vs. Diet Coke research, I was lead to a very interesting website: http://www.thezeromovement.org/. This site is a grass-roots organization that was started to create awareness on the bullsh*t marketing tactics of the Coca Cola Company, particularly in response to the Zero Movement, which is Coke Zero’s marketing campaign. Interestingly enough, there is an entire page dedicate to the negative publicity that Coke Zero’s campaign has received. “Coca-Cola's zero movement campaign has been getting zero praise. Check out these quotes. Note that almost everyone cleverly managed to work the word "zero" into their headline...”
Put that in your proverbial homemade coke-can pipe and smoke it… And so I leave you to ponder the Zero mystery...
Want to learn more about Coke Zero? Here’s the Wikepedia breakdown…
Roses are red, violets are blue, please leave your comment, after your reading is thru.