Writing about Coke will take up few pages of this site. Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-Coke, just that I seldom drink Coke nowadays. In fact, if I were to buy soft drink with big Mac, I will still go for Coke to spoil myself. Coke used to be my drink of choice for lunch during university days.
Nowadays, people are getting more health conscious. For the first time in recent history, the amount of soda sold in the United States – more than 16 billion gallons, fell in 2005, and again in 2006. So, as the market leader, Coca Cola definitely has to act on it. Therefore, it launched a new drink, Diet Coke Plus, in April 2007 in selected areas in the US to test the market.
What is the big deal about this Diet Coke Plus?
Diet Coke Plus is actually similar with the normal Diet Coke, just that it is fortified with vitamins and minerals. So, it is calorie-free and carbohydrate-free soda drink. It is time for the giant to catch up with 7 Up which has its vitamin-enriched versions. The rival, Pepsi has also released its own diet “energy” drink called Diet Pepsi MAX in June 2007.
Diet Coke is the newest member of the Diet Coke family, which includes the flagship Diet Coke, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lime, Diet Cherry Coke, and Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda. Diet Coke is now the third best-selling soft drink in America, after Coke Classic and Pepsi. So, I do not think Coca Cola will totally replace Diet Coke. In fact, this new drink is part of the company plan to conquer the market.
Coca Cola has begun advertising for Diet Coke Plus in the US with the slogan “Great Taste Has Its Benefits.” The company wants to emphasis that this Diet Coke product has several essential vitamins and minerals while giving people the familiar taste of Diet Coke they have grown accustomed to. Yes, the company is trying hard to tell consumers that they will get healthy by drinking soda. Diet Coke Plus is claimed to be “the first nutrient-enhanced carbonated soda to be offered by a major brand”. It has vitamins B3, B6, and B12, and the minerals zinc and magnesium.
The packaging includes the familiar Diet Coke logo along with a multi-colored “Plus” with the wording “Diet Coke with vitamins & minerals” listed on the product. The can is still the regular can of soda, but has a straight, sleek design like many of the energy drinks out there.
So, what is the taste of Diet Coke Plus?
Some said that this new drunk is a little bit sweeter than a regular Diet Coke whereas others could not really tell that Diet Coke Plus is any different from the regular Diet Coke. I have not had a chance to test it yet but I would think it may be slightly more bitter due to vitamin enhancement? However, supposedly, it should be sweeter because it is sweetened with a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium, unlike regular Diet Coke which only contains aspartame.
Not too bad, I would say about the idea of coming out with vitamin-infused diet soda. Since you going to drink a diet soda, why wouldn’t you want to add some vitamins and minerals to make it better? Nowadays, people are turning away from traditional soft drink, which sales has been hurt because of bad publicity about its link to obesity. In an increasingly health conscious society, this sugar-free yet nutrient filled drink will probably be accepted.
However, some critics do not think so. They do not believe that the drink can be made “healthy” by adding a few isolated nutrients. Systematically stripping nutrition out of food, and then adding it later in isolated form, may be a bust. Isolated vitamins and other nutrients may not pack the same benefits as when they occur in whole foods. I believe what the critics said is probably right.
Also, if one thinks that Diet Coke Plus is good because of the vitamin it provides, then how about those hard liquor blended with juice? Can we say this drink is healthy just because the juice offers vitamin C? The precious vitamin will not somehow negate the unhealthy effects of the vodka. Same point applies here for Diet Coke Plus.
You may still say, “Come on, Mun. This is a healthy Coke.”
Is it really possible to have a healthy Coke? Let me think…
Let’s take out the caffeine and other bad stuff and left a nice can of water. Now, that is a healthy “Coke”.
If you are really a die hard fan of Coke and you are taking vitamins daily, I guess you will still probably go for the familiar silver and red can, and popping vitamins on the side. Healthy or not, good or bad, just remember – Diet Coke Plus is still a Coke and Coke is a soda drink.
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