Is This the End of Our Hero, Coke Zero?!??!!??!?

Someone just tweeted me, “What do you think of them axing Coke Zero?”, which was not the first thing I wanted to read when I woke up this morning. But rather than panic and set fire to everything in my house at the thought of only having vile Diet Coke to drink when I crave brown, flavored carbonic acid, I went looking for reputable news sources for information. And indeed, it looks like plans are under foot Down Under:

Coca-Cola is getting rid of Coke Zero, starting in Australia.

The U.S.-based soft drink giant is retiring its zero calorie drink and launched a new “no-sugar” variant down under called Coca-Cola No Sugar. AdNews reports the soda will replace Coke Zero and the company claims it tastes even more like original Coke.

The “best tasting no sugar Coca-Cola we’ve ever made” will officially launch in Australia next week with a black color design similar to Coke Zero, which will be gradually phased out. A website already features the new tagline “Say Yes to No Sugar.”

I read several other news reports on this as well, and the upshot of this is, a) they’re road-testing a new version of no-calorie Coke in Australia and New Zealand, b) it’s supposed to taste more like original Coke than even Coke Zero, which is made using the original Coke formula (Diet Coke is the New Coke formula), c) it will co-exist with Coke Zero and Diet Coke for a while in the market, d) and if successful will replace Coke Zero, because apparently half of consumers had no idea Coke Zero had no sugar.

It’s that “no sugar” part that’s apparently important, because these days, or so the news reports suggest to me, sugar is in bad odor as being the worst possible thing you can put in your body short of heroin, a proposition I’m not convinced of, but then I’m kind of a sugar fiend, so I may be biased. By calling the new product Coke No Sugar, Coke is making it clear there’s, uh, no sugar in it. So, good for hyper-literal branding, I guess. I think “Coke No Sugar” is kind of terrible as a brand name, and suspect that if consumers didn’t know Coke Zero had, you know, zero sugar in it, the problem was marketing, and not the branding per se. Mind you, if memory serves, the whole point of Coke Zero marketing in the early days was to hide from dudes with fragile masculinity the fact that they were drinking a diet beverage, which is why the word “diet” was never put anywhere near the product dress. So again, I’m not sure consumers are 100% to blame here if they didn’t catch on about the zero sugar thing.

Be that as it may, as a devoted fan of Coke Zero, how do I feel about the possible rise of Coke No Sugar and the commensurate possible fall of Coke Zero? Bluntly, as long as my no-calorie Coke options are not limited to Diet Coke, which tastes like scorched battery acid and regret, I think I’ll be fine. I didn’t become a fan of Coke Zero because I was beguiled by its manly, diet-obfuscating branding; I became a fan of it because it’s derived from the taste profile of original Coca-Cola, which is what I wanted and wasn’t getting with New Coke-derived Diet Coke. So: Coke No Sugar apparently tastes closer to the original formula than Coke Zero? Groovy, I’ll give it a shot.

However, I’m not going to worry about Coke Zero vaporizing just yet. Coca-Cola does a whole lot of brand tweaking around the world to figure out what it wants to do; see this from last year in the UK, in which Coke Zero became Coke Zero Sugar, again, one assumes, to accentuate the “no sugar” association, a branding initiative which never made over to this aide of the Atlantic. Australia and New Zealand are the test markets for Coke No Sugar, in other words; if it’s wildly successful then they might transplant it to the US as well. If it’s not, well, then it’ll join Raspberry Coke and C2 in the sloshy Coke trashbin of failed Coke products (note, however, you can get raspberry-flavored Coke from the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, i.e., the most miraculous machines that humanity has yet invented and which verily I want in my own home. Also, I guess you could replicate C2 if you wanted by mixing one half original Coke and one half Coke Zero, but why would you).

In short, it doesn’t look like Coke Zero is dead quite yet. And if it eventually dies because its replacement tastes more like original formula Coke than it does, then I feel it will have completed its mission with honor and can rest well. Until that nebulous, unspecified future, however, I’ll keep sucking it down.

68 thoughts on “Is This the End of Our Hero, Coke Zero?!??!!??!?

  1. Coke Zero disappeared from shelves here in Mexico, in February (I’m not a Coke drinker, but I noticed when I tried to buy Coke Zero for a friend who swore by it). “Coca sin azúcar” has been on the shelves since then, and the world hasn’t ended; by “Coca Zero”-drinking friend has adjusted without complaint.

  2. I learn something new every day! I wondered why Coke Zero tasted so much better than Diet Coke. Now I know why! I used to subsist on Coke Zero, and I loved it so much. And then my body decided it HATES aspartame. Out of the blue. Sigh. Now I treat myself to a regular Coke like once a month and drink iced tea. It’s not the same.

  3. The stuff in Coke Zero has to be worse for you than sugar. But I imagine people tell you that all the time.

    A friend of ours is a nutrition and diabetes researcher in the University of California system. To him, the Coca Cola company is one of the top enemies of public health.

  4. So, if they are going with this new branding theme, does that mean Diet Coke will become Coke Death-Vomit?

  5. @jal, and “regular” Coke will become “Coke – you know this sugar will kill you, right? so our legal liability is now mitigated”.

  6. The 7-11 at the end of the street stocks Zero on like, one quarter of a shelf on an end-cap, and nothing in the fridge. Grocery stores still have it for miles.

    On marketing, everyone I’ve spoken to thought it was a rebrand of Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. Not exactly attractive to a lot of cola drinkers, and a real surprise for those few of us looking for a faint simulacrum of red-labeled ambrosia.

  7. While I do drink Coke Zero, I use it exclusively for mixing with rum! I tell myself it is healther that way because it doesn’t have all the sugar in it that regular Coke does. Right? Right?

  8. I used to drink about 4 liters of Coke Zero per day. I had to quit it (together with all other products with artificial sweeteners) about a year ago as it gave my digestion too many problems. The withdrawal symptoms were quite heavy after 20+ years of Diet Coke and Coke Zero :-(.

  9. It’s “Coke Classic” all over again. Apparently they have no corporate memory. “Hey, I’ve got this great idea: we have the best-selling drink in the world, so let’s change the formula and see what happens. What could possibly go wrong?” Honest to God… what do they teach MBAs in school?

    FYI, keep an eye on the sweeteners they use in your “diet” drink category. There’s increasing evidence that aspartame isn’t very good for you. Doesn’t seem to be carcinogenic, but long-term use may have significant negative cognitive consequences. Can’t find the original link I was thinking of, but this one’s a good start: . Also, here’s a summary of some recent findings that raise serious concerns about diet drinks in general: http://www.consumerreports.org/soda/mounting-evidence-against-diet-sodas/

    In terms of sugar, yes, definitely, cut down as best you can. There’s some sense that we should limit ourselves to 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily — versus as much as an order of magnitude greater than that for the average American. A link from a reliable source: .

    Bottom line? Give up your diet Coke and its kin. *Fe* Stick with huge amounts of proven-safe coffee and hard liquor (ideally in the same delivery vehicle) for maximum health benefits.*/Fe* What could possibly go wrong? *G*

    All this being said, dietary science is confusing and chock full of contradictory advice. Part of the problem seems to be that in addition to the usual problems with adequately controlling human studies, there’s a huge genetic component to how we respond to foods, not to mention the whole microbiome thing that is just beginning to attract attention. Dave Barry once referred to this as “as seen in the Journal of Things We Told You Were Safe But Now Know WIll Probably Kill you”. I opt for the precautionary principle and avoid things that have been questioned. Life’s already too short to play Russian roulette with my food.

  10. While I don’t think sugar is “the worst possible thing you can put in your body short of heroin,” there are a few things to keep in mind about sugar (specifically sucrose, though HFCS isn’t that different metabolically).

    A sucrose molecule is a fructose molecule connected to a glucose molecule. Your body breaks these apart, so we’re really talking half-and-half fructose and glucose. (HFCS is something like 45% fructose 55% glucose; not enough difference to matter.)

    Glucose metabolism works quite well. There are mechanisms in your gut that regulate uptake of glucose. Glucose can be stored in your liver as glycogen, which can be quickly converted back to glucose when needed.

    Fructose metabolism, on the other hand, has all the hallmarks of an evolutionary afterthought. Uptake in the gut is mostly correlated with the uptake of glucose. Actual metabolism resembles the metabolism of ethanol: your body converts it to triglycerides which get converted to fat and stored. (This is why I have a big beer belly, despite being a teetotaler: I drank sugar soda like a fish for fifteen years.)

    Finally, when you look at humans’ sources of sugar over our evolutionary history, sugar is always found paired with about as much dietary fiber, for example in fruits and sugar cane. This fiber slows sugar uptake in the gut. Frankly, your gut evolved to expect this, which is why it your glycemic load goes crazy after eating refined sugars. The brakes have failed; enjoy the mine cart ride. (This is also why fruit juices are about as ‘healthy” for you as sugar soda; sure they have vitamins and such, but it’s all liquid sugar in the end.)

    So I agree with researchers who say that the various sugar substitutes aren’t the healthiest thing for you, but they’re better over the long run than consuming the full-sugar alternatives would have been.

    Standard disclaimer: feel free to research any of the above topics and draw different conclusions.

    P.S. IIRC Diet Coke is an original formula that predates New Coke and doesn’t share history with it.

    P.P.S. Coca-Cola charges around $500/mo. rent for a Freestyle machine; unlike regular soda fountains, you can’t buy them. (“Licensed, not sold”, my ancient enemy, we meet again…) And, of course, all the syrup cartridges are DRM’d up like printer ink. So if you get one for your home, let us know how it goes.

    P.P.P.S. “Coke No Sugar” is a horrible name. It sounds like a placeholder name, like they use in movies, but there’s no way it’ll catch on like “Snakes on a Plane” did.

  11. So… it’s Coke Zero with different branding and possibly a microscopically different formula. Move along, nothing to see here.

    I like Coke Zero too, but I should probably stop drinking the stuff or cut way back, so if they just yanked it it wouldn’t be a tragedy.

  12. New Coke Zero. This is going to end well. Time to short Coca Cola stock. Thanks for the stock tip.

  13. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Holy shit, you scared me for a minute there … *ok self, breathe* … I don’t have any other addictions left, quit smoking, ect, I NEED MY DAMN COKE ZERO.
    And oh yes, those Freestyle machines. Glorious. My local gas station/mini mart has one. I go for the lime myself. Hmmm, I haven’t had one today, brb.

  14. Wait, Coke Zero has caffeine in it? Count me as one of the ones who’s never bought it because I thought it was caffeine-free, in which case what’s the point.

  15. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    I’m addicted to Coke Zero, for exactly the same reasons you are John. It definitely tastes closest to the real thing than other no sugar drinks.

    Also Raspberry Coke Zero is the bees wax. And, yes, I, too, want Coca-Cola Freestyle for home.

  16. I’ll be the lone voice of “But I actually like Diet Coke”, then…*shifty expression*

    Regular Coke leaves me with teeth that feel like they’ve been dipped in sugar. Coke Zero left me feeling like I’d just swallowed a mouthful of chemical waste straight from the drum – which was weird because I’m not normally sensitive to the aftertaste of artificial sweetners, but Coke Zero set me off like whoa.

    So I’ve stuck with Diet Coke (though my dentist would really rather I stuck with water!)

  17. Coke Zero was missing from my local Costco for a few months and I was worried it was being phased out. It’s back, but sounds like not for long.

    Do you remember Tab? Diet Coke is awesome compared with Tab. Diet Coke is even good compared to Diet Pepsi.

    What I really like is the formula they use in Coke Light in Germany and Scandinavia (probably elsewhere too). It probably contains some banned carcinogenic sweetener though.

  18. I cannot drink anything with any sort of artificial sweetener. They all leave me with a bad taste in my mouth for hours. So, if I am going to drink a carbonated cola-flavored beverage, hand me a Coke, fully leaded and fully sugared up. Which is why I drink the thing only on rare occasions.

  19. I drink Coke Zero for two reasons: 1) it tastes more like original Coke (my hate for New Coke knows no bounds), and 2) I’m diabetic, so drinking pop with sugar in it is not a great idea for me. If Coke No Sugar replaces Coke Zero…well, I’ll survive. I survived the demise of Cajun Ruffles, I’ll survive this.

  20. My daughter frequently drags me to the local pizza restaurant to get a drink from the Freestyle machine. No cola for her, usually ginger ale with 3 different fruit flavors.

  21. My local Kroger stocks Diet Coke with Splenda. Tastes just like regular Coke to me. The Diet Coke with aspartame makes me want to gag. I tried Coke Zero and didn’t think it tasted “quite” right. Something slightly off, but not bad. I can’t get the Coke w/Splenda anywhere except locally. Apparently out local bottler is the only one using that formula.

  22. For people lucky enough to live in the area serviced by HEB, their store-brand HEB Zero is pretty much indistinguishable from Coke Zero. However, their store-brand diet cola is NOT an acceptable substitute for Diet Coke (which I can drink, although Zero is preferred).

    For people who are avoiding artificial sweeteners and for whom the cola flavor is not an imperative, the “mixers” area in your local grocery is the place to look. Lots of unsweetened flavored fizzy water, which provides the mouthfeel of soda without either the calories or the Miracles of Modern Chemistry. Check the label if you’re also avoiding sodium; some brands have none, others have as much as a regular soda.

  23. athersgeo, no fear: You are not alone with liking Diet Coke. It definitely is bitter, but in a good way? Actually, I don’t mind ANY of the diet drinks, although Diet Pepsi is waaaaaay at the end of my list.

  24. @Athersgeo, you are not the only Diet Coke drinker in the comments, I assure you. DDP is my drug of choice these days, but when that’s not available, I’ll take Diet Coke over Diet Pepsi every day of the week. I still miss Vanilla Diet Coke; Vanilla Coke Zero was a marginally acceptable substitute.

    @Miles Archer, I was a lifelong Tab drinker until Diet Coke was released. And about 18 months later, I was at a restaurant that hadn’t changed over their fountain taps yet, and I was appalled by the taste. I’m wondering about the differences between Diet Coke and Coke Light as well, now (CL was all they had when I was in Istanbul last spring).

  25. Former Pepsi drinker here, so take this analysis with a grain of… something.

    Back when New Coke was released, everyone was Wait, whut??!?!? But it wasn’t as stupid as people thought, and still think.

    Coke was spending a fortune on sugar, and was captive to the sugar growers and their market. Being a giant evil corp, they hated being connected up in a controlling way to another giant evil group, like Sugar, Inc. So the MBAs were sent off to find a way to fix this horrible expensive connection. Hence, New Coke!!! was introduced – with a plan behind that introduction.

    They expected New Coke to fail to some degree, because New Coke wasn’t their end game at all. A new High Fructose Corn Syrup formula for all their liquid gold was their goal, because (a) it was and is cheaper per unit of sweetness than sugar (b) there are no limits on where corn can be grown comparable to sugar (c) there was no industry group for HFCS comparable to Big Sugar, Inc. So no one to hold power over decisions made in Atlanta, home of Coke and Sweet Tea, the reason Coke is SO SWEET!!!

    Shortly after consumers rebelled against New Coke, the “geniuses” in charge of Coke admitted the error of their ways, and introduced another new product, Classic Coke, which to many people bears little resemblance to Original Real Coke. But it was a lot better to Coke fans than New Coke, which no one liked. Classic Coke was the Real Thing BUT with High Fructose Corn Syrup, NOT sugar.

    Mission Accomplished. Sugar markets destroyed, Coke in the catbird seat again, where they deserve to be. Kinda. They think so , anyway.

    I’ve been drinking La Croix flavored fizzy water, no sugar, no calories, no sodium, no nothing but fizzy water. Tastes good, lite flavor.

  26. “the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, i.e., the most miraculous machines that humanity has yet invented” Not humanity…Dean Kamen! (and Nilang Patel of Coke’s research dept, too.) of FIRST (youth STEM and robotics) and insulin pumps and the Segway (among many others)! However, he IS human, AFAIK.

    My favorite article: http://www.popsci.com/article/science/pure-genius-how-dean-kamens-invention-could-bring-clean-water-millions
    Also: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2009-10-07/dean-kamen-reinvents-cokes-soda-fountain

    p.s. Congrats on the New Grad! I have one of my own.

  27. @Miles Archer My wife drinks Diet Coke and I drink Tab. But what I really miss is Coca Cola Life. If only I could still find it in 2-liters.

  28. Hm.
    I drink Coke Zero occassionally, but I much rather have Coke Light (I think it’s the same as Diet Coke? Or yet another variation?)

    However, as Miles Archer said, the taste of the Diet/Light Cokes varies from country to country. I’d really like to know WHY – there is nothing in there that would be more expensive in one country or the other…
    (Also, I agree that Coke Light in Germany is better than the stuff in Austria (no kangaroos). I think it’s less sweet and has more bite.)

    Has someone here tried “Coke Life”? Less sugar, with stevia instead of the (sarcasm on) bad bad artificial sweeteners that have been under almost constant scrutiny for 20-100 years (sarcasm off).

    I drank it once, was alright, a bit more like regular Coke to me, but not really to my taste. Give me scorched battery acid, I’ll supply the regret.

  29. Yay for Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, AKA “the ultimate Coke machine”! It’s one reason I love Noodles & Company, because they have those machines. (Well, that, and their pesto cavatappi…but I digress.) I take my Coke Zero with lime from those machines.

  30. Conventional wisdom among diabetics seems to be that, the case being that you’re going to have a hard time eliminating absolutely all sugar from your diet, at least bear in mind that the worst way to consume sugar is to drink it.

  31. The Coca Cola co. still bottles “New Coke.” Lots of it. That’s all I ever see in European and Scandinavian cities. I hate it worse than Pepsi.

  32. If I remember my C2 correctly it was both half sugar and half caffeine, so you’d have to mix Caffeine Free Coke with Diet Coke to make it now.

    Sign me up for Coca Cola with Lime from the Freestyle machines. Love that stuff.

  33. Hi Geoff Hart, I saw the headlines on those studies too. Just in case, I’m switching from Coke Zero to iced tea (I don’t like sugar in my iced tea). If this nefarious plot comes to the U. S., I’ll just view it as Coca-Cola’s attempt to help a loyal customer!

    Coke is still made with real sugar in Mexico, and many stores import it (it’s often sold by the bottle). Look at the ingredients, and if you see the word “azucar”, it’s The Real Thing!

  34. The rise of acesulfame potassium (also know in “the biz” as ace-K) as an adjunct artificial sweetener is, to me, the real joy of Coke Zero. If Zero was sweetened entirely with aspartame or sucralose or (gods help us) stevia, it would be just as much a chore to drink as Diet Coke. How do I figure? Because recently, Pepsi made a push to remove aspartame from Diet Pepsi. Prior to this, I wouldn’t go near the stuff. But now, so help me, I like it significantly better than Diet Coke. AFAIK, Pepsi made no changes to the flavor profile of Diet Pepsi, only the sweetener. And what did they use? A combination of sucralose and ace-K.

  35. Oh, and the correct usage of a Freestyle Machine is Coke Zero with Orange. 100+ flavors, and that’s all I ever want.

  36. I dropped carbonated and sugary drinks entirely in December as an early New Year’s resolution and have lost about 50 pounds. I had a single can of regular Coke for Memorial Day after smoking a pork shoulder Lexington-style for twelve hours. It was heavenly… but the sugar rush/crash knocked me out in a way it never did when I was at my prior baseline of over a pint a day.

    Coke is nothing to be sneered at. I’m looking forward to my next can on a major holiday when I have time to take an impromptu nap.

  37. Re. the wisdom of Coke’s MBAs: Matt, thanks for providing the Snopes link.

    Basing a produt line on the relative costs of sucrose and fructose, if true, would have been classic MBA thinking: focus on the short-term bottom line without considering any context or follow-on effects. Here, the context is a century-old “brand” with an enormous, if unpriced, market value. Yeah, their market share was dropping… because the market had become enormous and diversified. A smaller percentage of a much larger total isn’t a bad thing.

    “Actually, your current branding strategy is great… don’t touch it!”… said no brand consultant ever. You don’t get paid for status quo, and don’t win any awards for “same old, same old”. Here in Canada, we had the Hudson’s Bay Company, dating back to 1670 and with retail operations dating back to ca. 1850s (i.e., more than 400 and 160 years of name recognition, respectively) that rebranded its retail ops as “The Bay”, largely (it seems) based on the received branding “wisdom” [sic] that shorter names do better on the stock market. Then Walmart came to Canada. Oops!

  38. I recently had my first encounter with a coca cola freestyle machine at a Five Guys. Cherry Lime Coke Zero was glorious!

  39. @J R in WV

    This is why, if I have a sugared Coke, it’s one imported from Mexico. The best thing about my trip to Mexico years ago were the Cokes with cane sugar!

    Also….there are folks who didn’t realize Coke Zero was sugar free? What did the think the Zero was there for?

  40. Make sure to get the Freestyle app. It will remember mixes for you and display them as choices when you connect. Also, after 5 visits, you get a $5 Amazon bonus.

  41. On the Freestyle machines, I alternate between Coke Zero with raspberry and Coke Zero with lemon. (The raspberry is far superior to cherry–why is this not a bottled standard flavor?) Occasionally, I’ll have a diet Barq’s with vanilla. Those are the main mixes I’ve found that I really like.

  42. KCZ actually beat me to providing the Snopes link, though it was in a different context.

    New Coke seems to have been a simple blunder with a logical motivation: Pepsi was encroaching on their market share and Diet Coke, a wholly new formulation that tasted not much like regular Coke, had been a surprisingly huge hit, so why not reformulate Coke to taste more like Diet Coke? Actually advertising it as an overhaul that everyone would love was probably the biggest mistake.

  43. When is Coke going to learn not to mess with a good thing?

    And why do this to the Aussies sms Kiwis? Haven’t they suffered enough?

  44. After working at a variety of fast food joints while in college, with all the soda you wanted, I got into the habit of heavily cutting soda with water, to the point of about 1/5 soda to water. You burned out on soda after a while of drinking nothing but while at work.

    I still cut most soda heavily with water (fruit juice as well) because it’s too sweet, but now I tend to drink flavored seltzer with no sweetener when I drink soda. I stock up when it goes on sale locally.

  45. As I have an intolerance to most artficial sweeteners, I’m all for big “no sugar” warning labels on soda. Keeps me from accidentally drinking something that will give me a sore throat for the rest of the day.

  46. As an Antipodean, I guess I’ll be able to try Coke no sugar soon. I hope it tastes better than Coke Zero, which frankly tastes like swamp water after cows have been wading in it. Unfortunately I have to drink it for health reasons, instead of the real stuff.It would be interesting to try the original 1886 formula, though.

  47. Now you may have empathy for how I felt when Diet Vanilla Coke was torn from retailers by the evil Coke behemoth. I have all the fondness for Coke Zero Vanilla as you do Diet Coke. Hail to the resurrection of Diet Vanilla Coke in the wondrous freestyle machine. I visit specific restaurants just so I can make my special elixir. I think I’ll go get myself a thirsty-two ouncer of Diet Vanilla Coke right now. Yummm!

  48. Out of curiousity, what do you think of Tab? I like Coke Zero, but I like Tab even slightly better. Any thoughts?

  49. Out of curiosity, I went to Wikipedia and found this nugget: “Acesulfame potassium [one of the artificial sweeteners in Coke Zero] is widely used in the human diet and excreted by the kidneys. It thus has been used by researchers as a marker to estimate to what degree swimming pools are contaminated by urine.”

    The more you know….

  50. No sugar drinks are good for us diabetics who were raised on soda and still like to enjoy carbonation without having to take more insulin to compensate.

  51. Coke No Sugar tonight in my coffee
    Coke No Sugar tonight in my tea
    Coke No Sugar to stand beside me
    Coke No Sugar to run with me.

    t’s just not the same. My apologies to the Guess Who.

  52. If the Coke company can make Coke No Sugar taste like original coke with cane sugar, fine. I’m in.

    I’m still chapped decades later that they switched to HFCS without admitting it to the public even though it was obvious that it wasn’t the same. They spent months denying it, then admitted it, then tried to tell people that it was really okay because people couldn’t tell the difference. It’s like they were politicians or something.

  53. I still drink Tab. A product which they have yet to kill due to the fanatical devotion and pigheadedness of Tab devotees.

  54. You can’t replicate Coke C2 like that, because it had aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose (along with corn syrup), while Coke Zero only had the first two. Sucralose would be missing. And somehow, the magic ratios they had with this combination made it taste like Coke, but with half the calories.

    But I’m the only person who liked it, so (shrug) no one’s going to replicate it for me. It never occurred to me to try it – I could take Coke Zero, Coke, and add my own sucralose, but that wouldn’t really work, methinks. ;-) It’s all in the proportions!

    Oh well, I drink water now – better for me anyway. ;-)

  55. I’m also hooked on Coke Zero, and a local store was out yesterday, without even a hole in the shelf where it should have been. Then a rumour of a phase-out and I was panicking (esp. since they teased us poor Canucks with Cherry Coke Zero back in late winter).

    “Coke Zero Sugar, […], a branding initiative which never made over to this aide of the Atlantic”

    FYI (and pedant warning), the Coke Zero Sugar (Coca-Cola Zero Sucre) branding is on this side of the Atlantic too, in Toronto at least.

    Mike D.: thanks for the rental price info on the Freestyle machines. $500/mo (USD) is quite expensive… but they’re miraculous and besides, I could downsize my place and find a few hundred in rent if it meant cherry & raspberry coke zero on demand… Really though, having a price point in mind means that at least I know what to envision if I buy a lottery ticket again.

  56. I find myself wondering what sugar replacement they’re using THIS time.

    Diet Coke has aspartame. Coke Zero has sucralose (which I can’t use because it gives me instant banging migraines, but which I’m glad exists for the people who can use it and like it, such as yourself).

    Coke Life has _less_ sugar and some stevia.

    So… what’s left?

  57. They have actually started using the “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar” branding in Canada, which began in Feb 2017. It’s the exact same drink with an extra word in the branding. I imagine that’s what you’ll end up seeing in the US.

  58. I actually like Coke Zero. I’ve drank just about every major diet soda under the sun (brand and non-brand) and hands down, I like Coke Zero the best. I would be extremely disappointed if they retire the flavor and its offshoots, because it’s the one branded soda that I will drink on a consistent basis.

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