Monday, April 9, 2012

Coke Zero vs. Diet Coke: NOT THE SAME.

I'm on holiday. Or as you Americans say, vacation. That being said, I have a lot of time for ranting. Consider yourselves forewarned.

So, the other night, I'm in a pub. Thanks to my current tee-total status, I basically have a sum total of two beverage options these days.

The first is lime & soda. I really like a good lime & soda, but ooh boy does it really grind my gears if it is not made correctly. I need exactly the right ratio of lime cordial to soda water. Preferably with a slice of lime, but I can take or leave that. I have been known to ask a bartender if I could make my own in the past... although to be fair, that would have been a vodka lime & soda, and most likely not my first of the evening. ANYWAY. I digress.

The second option currently available to me is Diet Coke. Ooooh boy do I loves me a good cold crisp DC. Tends to be my go-to when I just cannot be arsed with taking the whole 'lime & soda ratio' gamble. "Diet Coke please" isn't that hard to fuck up, is it?

Let me tell you. It is. And it's all thanks to this sneaky interloper: Coke Zero. I FUCKING HATE COKE ZERO.

So, the whole premise behind the existence of Coke Zero is that it tastes like traditional Coca Cola, but without the sugar. Whereas, Diet Coke tastes like, well, Diet Coke. Not regular Coke. DIET COKE.

(why do I feel the need to use shouty caps so much? A therapist would have a field day...)

This post is not about the chemical differences, the sugar content, artificial sweeteners, blah blah blah. You can find all that here if you care. To me, it's about TASTE, people. T. A. S. T. E.

I really dislike the taste of Coca Cola. And, therefore, Coke Zero. I just don't like it. At all. I can tell the difference at first sip between a Coke and a Diet Coke, and I am not happy if I have been served the wrong one. I will complain. As is my right.

Back in the day, the biggest cola-related issue used to be Coke vs Pepsi. Not so anymore, it seems. Although... that would take me on another tangent 'cos Pepsi Max should be illegal. Eww. *ahem*, sorry...

Back to the other night. I ask for a Diet Coke, and what comes to me is clearly either Coca Cola or Coke Zero (I can't tell between the two, and don't care to). So, I send it back. I tell the waitress I ordered a Diet Coke, she apologises, and gets me another one. Here's the thing. The second drink? Same as the first.

At this point, given my stress levels were already fairly high, I couldn't be bothered complaining further. I pushed it aside and drank water. But it got me thinking... do bar staff think these two products are the same? Is Diet Coke in danger of being outrun by this sleek, black and shiny new rival? How will I cope???

As it is, in many shops and cafes now, the fridges are bereft of DC. The Coke Zero bottles and cans have strolled on in and taken over the shelves that are not rightfully theirs. I haz a sad.
Seems I'm not the only one confused

Cut to this weekend. I'm in another dining establishment, and I ask for a Diet Coke. The waitress comes right back out to our table to apologise, and tell me that they are out of DC but, would I like a Coke Zero instead? No thanks, I politely decline, I'll have a Sprite Zero instead. I thanked her for knowing the difference, and she smiled. She knew. She got it.

It's just a damn shame she's in the minority. Is anyone else feeling my pain?


  1. I so know the difference!! I'm a Coke Zero girl, can't stand Diet Coke. Bar/wait staff should know the difference, this is part of their job!

  2. A, I really, REALLY hope you manage to get rid of some of this pent-up frustration during your staycation... Maybe you should take up kick-boxing as well?

    However, I digress. I'm afraid I can't really comment on your dilemma, as the only coke I like is that mixed with Jack Daniels, and since the JD needs to be rather copious, the coke taste kinda gets overridden, y'know? *giggles*

    Sorry, I know that probably doesn't help. The real truth is that I don't like Coke. In any shape or form. Do you get Panda Pops in NZ? Or supermarket own brand Coke? Now that's the kind of disgustingness (is that even a word?) I'm talking about...

    Good luck with the rest of your break, and thanks for the whine!

    CC x

  3. I'm with u bb, in no way are Diet Coke and Coke Zero comparable. Actually, they aren't even directed at the same consumers. CZ is intended for original Coke drinkers. Imma diet coke girl myself *high 5* as coke is just too sickly sweet.

    I've experienced the same thing. The correct response is to give u another option. I think the issue is, generally, that service people no longer care. Thankfully they aren't all like that tho.

    Hope ur enjoying ur holiday thus far Amy!!

  4. Happy vacation! Yeah, they aren't the same AT EFFING ALL. I was a Diet Coke girl 100% until I got pregnant, and now I don't like it. So weird. Never liked Coke Zero, so regular Coke it is. Not such a big deal, though, since I might drink soda 1-2x a month. Caffeinated momma = caffeinated baby, and I do not need that.

    I don't think DC is being phased out, at least not here... but my city is the home of Coke, so most places have all options available.

  5. I can not comment as I don't drink any soda but I can understand the frustration - you ask for one thing and get another and the people don't understand. It should be just like you ordered a chicken sandwich and they bring you beef. It isn't what you ordered, so go back and get what you ordered. If you don't have it, then don't offer it either.

    Enjoy your holiday otherwise :)

  6. I always give the 'new kid on the block' a chance like Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, etc. I don't like all the shit they put in those. I'm a DC girl to the core. I will drink Pepsi though... only regular, diet pepsi sucks. McDonalds ran out of syrup for their DC and the kid asked if I wanted Coke Zero... hell to the no! I ordered Root Beer instead. That's like saying Sprite, 7-up, and Sierra Mist are the same. I go to McDonalds once a week just to order a large DC and drink it aaaaaaaaall day. I'm trying to cut down on my soda consumption, doesn't flow well with my det.

    Let's not get me started on sodas and beers with flavors already in them. Artificial lime in a Corona with lime is NOT the same as squishing the crap out of a lime into your beer bottle. Same goes for DC with cherry, lime, etc.. disgusting! I'd rather make my own :)

  7. You do know that you're talking to a die-hard Pepsi product girl, right? Some people have coffee to start their day...I have a Diet Pepsi. When at a restaurant and I would order a Diet Pepsi and the waiter/waitress would ask, "Is Diet Coke ok?" I used to say, "No. I'll have a water." But over the years, I have learned to drink fountain Diet Coke. Still can't stand any Coke product out of a can.

    On the flip side, when I flew to California last week, I asked the flight attendant if she had Diet Pepsi and she said, "No, but we have Coke Zero and I think it tastes like Diet Pepsi." So I tried it. WTF?! No way does it taste like Diet Pepsi and no way does it taste good. Nasty. So I feel you on that, Amy.

    PS: Got your email. I have a few things to do yet this morning, but I'll try and look you up on Gmail chat this afternoon. xo

  8. Hmm... I hate everything Diet, so I guess I understand, just from the opposite perspective! I don't drink a ton of soda, but do definitely prefer stuff from the fountain, rather than a can or bottle. And, regardless, you should get what you ordered!! I hate when you send something back and still the servers/whoever doesn't get it right. Booooo on them. But yaaaaaay for vacay!!!!

  9. Diet Coke is the BEST. I don't remember Diet Pepsi, but Pepsi Max is horrendous, and, while I'll drink Coke Zero - or even regular Coke, if worst comes to worst - I'll know if it isn't what I ordered.