I live in the Coca-Cola capital, Atlanta, Georgia. The word “Pepsi” is tantamount to treason in these parts. In the interest of diversity for loyal consumers, the Coca-Cola Company is making an effort to expand their product line. That’s good news for faithful Coke fans. President and CEO, Neville Isdell, pushes innovation in the soda and energy drink industry. In 2005, Coke Zero was introduced. This Coca-Cola product, along with Vault, Vault Zero, and new Minute Maid products, has created greater earnings and renewed interest in the historically strong Coca-Cola Company.
My family and friends are chronic Coca-Cola addicts. They don’t like the taste of Diet Coke. The introduction of Coca-Cola Zero was a huge relief to Coke lovers who want to watch calories. Dan Dillon, vice president of the Diet Portfolio of Coca-Cola North American, said the company introduced the brand to provide “a real Coca-Cola taste, zero calories, and a new brand [young adults] can call their own.”
According to sales volume Coca-Cola is a success, but let’s take a look at a comparison of the two products: Coca-Cola versus Coca-Cola Zero. The first and biggest issue for most cola drinkers is taste. Coke Zero is the first ‘diet’ product to closely replicate the traditional Coca-Cola taste. It has the full flavored taste of Coca-Cola, minus the 97 calories in an 8 ounce serving of Coke. Coca-Cola Zero earned its name from its calorie content, zero. If you are counting calories, and don’t like the taste of Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero is the best choice for you.
If your soda selection isn’t influenced by calories, there are other differences in the products that you should consider. Coca-Cola Zero contains aspartame. It is sweetened with a combination of aspartame and acesulfame potassium (ace-k). Aspartame is an artificial sweetener made from amino acids, aspartic acids, and phenylalanine. Aspartame is a controversial synthesized sweetener. Opponents of the sweetener used in Coca-Cola Zero claim it is toxic. They point to studies linking aspartame with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, memory loss, and other health problems. The up-side is that studies seem to be inconclusive, and consumers continue to consume large amounts of aspartame in a variety of products and artificial sweeteners. Aspartame is also used in Diet Coke, and it is the #1 selling Coca-Cola soft drink product in the United States. Only you can decide about the risks you are willing to take by consuming Aspartame. If you are not willing to risk consuming aspartame, stick with Coca-Cola. It is sweetened with natural sugars.
According to die hard Coca-Cola consumers, they will stick with “the real thing.” If Coke is the product you have become accustomed to, nothing replaces the taste and burn. Yes, that acidic, carbonated burn is addicting. Some Coca-Cola fans will never switch. This is good news for Coca-Cola; they can continue to expand their product line while maintaining their current customer base.
My preference is Coca-Cola Zero. Taste, carbon burn, and no calories sway my opinion. Some people I know consume six or more Coca-Colas in a day. Without getting into health and dental hygiene issues of soft drink consumption, look at the numbers. Switching to Coca-Cola Zero automatically removes over five hundred calories from their diet. Even if you drink one or two soft drinks a day, drinking Coca-Cola Zero instead of regular Coca-Cola will save between 97 to just under 300 calories. I want to have my soda and low calories, too. I’m sticking with Coca-Cola Zero. If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to try one. You will be surprised at the Coca-Cola taste.
Coca-Cola Zero is not targeted at consumers of Diet Coke. According to The Coca-Cola Company the two products are completely different markets. Consumers of Diet Coca-Cola have been treated to a new product Diet Coke Plus, a version of Diet Coke enhanced with vitamins.