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Substituting Coke Zero for Diet Coke?


Porthos
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My wife and I are Diet Coke fans. Coke Zero, on the other hand, is a beverage we do not care for.

We noticed a few months ago at our church, which has a soda fountain, that they had substituted Coke Zero for Diet Coke. When I asked the person in charge she said yes they had switched over but didn't have the new product tag to put on the fountain yet. Fair enough.

I have on several occasions n the last few months ordered Diet Coke at major chain fast food places and the taste was wrong - it was obviously Coke Zero. When I asked about it a few times I was told "No, it's Diet Coke." The specific places that have done this, and on more than one occasion each, have lost me as a customer.

My question is this: Has anyone else noticed this or am I just slowly losing my cola taste buds?

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Coke Zero contains the artificial sweetener acesulfame-K, which to my palate is plain nasty. So I understand your pain. Tap versions of Diet Coke (for fountain dispensers) have always contained some saccharin to extend shelf life; perhaps that is what you are tasting?

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As a Diet Coke drinker for many, many years all I can say is Coke Zero is a gift from God herself.

I agree wholeheartedly. As a long time Coca-Cola addict, being diagnosed as a diabetic forced me into a cold turkey withdrawl. Worse than quitting smoking, let me tell you. While it may be like giving methadone to a heroin addict, Coke Zero is truly a gift - it has the same little puff of vapour when you open the bottle, the same hiss, the same smell....nirvana.

Diet Coke, on the other hand, pushed me straight to Diet Pepsi when I couldn't have The Real Thing anymore. And if I go somewhere now that only has Diet Coke, I complain and order water.

Your church has a soda fountain?

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Coke Zero contains the artificial sweetener acesulfame-K, which to my palate is plain nasty. So I understand your pain. Tap versions of Diet Coke (for fountain dispensers) have always contained some saccharin to extend shelf life; perhaps that is what you are tasting?

Exactly, Diet Coke out of a fountain has never been the same as the bottle/can. I thought the reason for the use of saccharin was for cost, not shelf life.The point being that fountains are usually exclusive to one manufacturer, so the consumer has no alternative for diet.

I thought fountain syrups would turn over much more quickly than bottles or cans, too

It's not just the sweetener difference between Diet Coke and Zero. There's a purposely different flavor profile to appeal to a different consumer. I think Diet Coke might have even switched to an ace-k and aspartame blend, but am not 100% sure.

Edited by rickster (log)
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I've seen another forum on this topic. There were definitely strong opinions with preference for either product.

I'm a devoted Diet Coke person. It seems to me that Coke Zero is designed to more closely resemble regular Coke in flavor, i.e. really sweet, which is what I don't like about it. My mother started me on diet soda when I was very young ( Tab, which was nasty, and Fresca, which I still like sometimes), so I'm used to the slight bitterness of old fashioned diet soda.

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I'm a devoted Diet Coke person. It seems to me that Coke Zero is designed to more closely resemble regular Coke in flavor,...

I agree. I find Coke Zero to taste almost the same as regular Coke...now I'm just waiting for a caffeine-free version.

I never "got" Diet Coke. It didn't taste the same as regular Coke so I considered it a sham of a diet soda. I mean Diet Pepsi does taste like regular Pepsi, so why didn't Diet Coke taste like Coke? That being said, I have friends, bless their hearts, who swear by Diet Coke. So go figure... :laugh:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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We saw caffeine-free Coke Zero in Rome (Italy) last summer. I emailed the company to ask why they couldn't bring it to this side of the pond, and got a non-answer answer to the effect of, "We do different things in different markets." Bah!

MelissaH

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I'm a devoted Diet Coke person. It seems to me that Coke Zero is designed to more closely resemble regular Coke in flavor,...

I agree. I find Coke Zero to taste almost the same as regular Coke...now I'm just waiting for a caffeine-free version.

I never "got" Diet Coke. It didn't taste the same as regular Coke so I considered it a sham of a diet soda. I mean Diet Pepsi does taste like regular Pepsi, so why didn't Diet Coke taste like Coke? That being said, I have friends, bless their hearts, who swear by Diet Coke. So go figure... :laugh:

Diet Pepsi certainly does not taste like regular Pepsi to my thinking.

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My initial post was probably not quite as clear as I would have hoped. The issue I'm trying to see if others have noticed, or if I'm dead wrong, is whether there are fast food places that are replacing diet coke syrup with coke zero syrup but still saying that it's diet coke on the menus and on the fountain dispensers. Think fraud. Selling something that is not the product advertised. I know that diet coke tastes different than real coke but that in of itself doesn't bother me. I haven't consumed sugared coke in over 30 years (except the very occasional Coke bottled in Mexico and made with real sugar). I just like the taste of diet coke. Also, I seem to get an upset stomach when I do drink coke zero.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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It's also possible that a worker accidently connected the wrong box of soda syrup to the wrong soda machine connector/tubing causing the switch. Another explanation could be that a worker didn't know there's a real difference between the two diet versions and connected the wrong box of syrup thinking Diet Coke was the same as Coke Zero. Call it giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Have you been back to any of the chains to see if the error still exists? If it still does, I would contact the manager and if they insist there's no substitution going on, contact the corporate office with your claim of false advertising.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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This has happened at 3 different "name-brand" chains here in southern california, including eastern LA county, northern Orange County and western San Bernardino county. Every time I ask if there has been a substitution I am told that "no, it is diet coke." I'd actually like to challenge them and ask to see the syrup racks - but I'm a bit to cowardly to do that.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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