In general, I do not like diet sodas. If all I had in the house to drink was diet soda, I would rather go thirsty. But when heard that Diet Dr. Pepper was being marketed as tasting more like regular Dr. Pepper, I decided to put it to the test. I drink soda almost exclusively and have gained some weight in recent months. Making the switch diet soda could help me shed some weight, but I wasn’t willing to compromise on taste. In general, I shun diet soda because of the after taste. It just doesn’t taste the same as the regular to me, and often I find the taste to be unpalatable. If I could still enjoy my favorite Dr. Pepper flavor in a diet soda, I would switch. The prospect of cutting calories definitely appealed to me. When I compared the calorie content per serving in Diet Dr. Pepper vs. Regular Dr. Pepper, I found that switching to Diet Dr. Pepper will save 100 calories per serving. While that may not seem like an extraordinary amount of calories, it really is when you multiply 100 calories by a factor of 2.5, the amount of servings in a typical bottle of soda that you might buy out of a vending machine or at a convenience store. Considering my two bottle a day habit, it was clear to me that I was drinking at least 500 calories in just soda per day.
I tried to perform this taste test scientifically. I purchased both Diet and Regular Dr. Pepper in a two liter bottle, chilled them and did the taste test with both of them freshly opened. I labeled two identical glasses and poured in equal amounts of soda. I switched the glasses around about 20 or so times until I didn’t know which glass held which soda. Would I be able to determine which soda was which? Would the Diet Dr. Pepper really taste close to the taste of Regular Dr. Pepper?
I chose the glass on the right to start. I took a nice, long drink. I could taste the sweetness and the flavor very well. I sniffed it like one would smell the bouquet of a fine wine. Satisfied that I had had enough of a taste for comparison’s sake, I then picked up the glass on the left. I did my cursory sniff and found it did smell like diet soda. I took an equally long drink of the soda. It tasted less sugary than the first one and had detectable diet after taste. Indeed, I could tell the difference between the two. I verified my observations by reading the label on the bottom. That left the question of whether compared to other diet sodas on the market, how did the Dr. Pepper match-up compare? Did it really taste closer to the original soda or not?
In my opinion, I do think that Diet Dr. Pepper comes a lot closer than most other diet sodas on the market when it comes to tasting like the original. While I could tell the difference by smell and taste, I do not think that Diet Dr. Pepper has anywhere near the diet after taste that Diet Pepsi has compared to Regular Pepsi. Furthermore, when you compare the caloric savings by making the switch, the choice is easy. Unlike other diet sodas, the diet after taste was not enough to turn me off from Diet Dr. Pepper. Considering the potential to reduce my calorie intake and my observation that Diet Dr. Pepper does indeed taste similar to its regular counterpart, I was willing to make the switch.