Monday, April 26, 2010


Commenting on my last post, Saffy said:

"You may be right about the sodas, but damn if they don't taste good! Those Throwback sodas taste like crap!"

I actually find that really interesting…especially as all sodas were sweetened with sugar until the late 80's, early 90's. It's not really about which soda tastes better, it's about what you're used to. It's like taking a sip of coffee when you think it's hot chocolate. Even if you love coffee, that first sip will taste horrible, just because it's not what you were expecting.

In fact, remember the whole 'New Coke' debacle? The only difference between the recipe for 'classic' coke and 'new' coke is that new coke was sweetened with high fructose corn syrup while classic coke was sweetened with cane sugar.

The funniest thing is that a company like Coca Cola doesn't just change their recipe overnight. Before introducing New Coke, Coca Cola went all around the country and conducted thousands of blind taste tests… and the result was clear, the vast majority of Americans preferred new coke to classic coke.

The problem was that Coca Cola was considered as classic 'Americana', so once the change in recipe was announced people reacted badly. Changing the recipe for Coke was like replacing Thanksgiving Turkey with Thanksgiving Tofu Salad. People responded with hate for the new recipe and Coca Cola Classic was brought back almost immediately.

However, and here's the real kicker, it's a hell of a lot cheaper to sweeten a soft drink with high fructose corn syrup than with cane sugar, so it was an inevitable change that Coke were going to make anyway, which they did.

Basically, today, Coca Cola Classic is 'New Coke'. The only real difference is the packaging.

In other words, there's been a complete 180. In the late 80's Coke introduced corn syrup sweetened Coke and people said it tasted like crap and demanded the original cane-sugar sweetened recipe be brought back. Then, the recipe was changed anyway and no-one noticed. 20 years later, we're all drinking our high-fructose corn-syrup flavored coke, which we so vehemently fought against…while saying the 'throwback' sodas, the original cane-sugar sweetened recipe that we fought for in the 80's, tastes like crap.


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right......except that until I moved to the US i rarely if ever drank regular soda. It was almost always squash and water. So when I moved here and couldnt get it, I started drinking soda and I have a deep forbidden love for Mt Dew......I just hate the throwback stuff, it tastes overly sweet and it goes flat within seconds of opening it.

Scratch the hostile fay said...

When they first released the Mt. Dew Throwback stuff, not only was it sweetened with cane sugar, but *the orange juice was missing*. It still doesn't taste right, to me, but then I wasn't drinking it originally in the 80's, when it was cane sugar. So I wouldn't know.

Personally, I don't think there's much a difference in "badness". It's all bad if you drink TOO much of it. I can't say anything though; like Saffy over there, I live off of Mountain Dew.

I drink pretty much any soda except diet. Diet soda is like fat-free ice cream: what's the point?

I guess if you moderate what you're taking in, you can get away with the reqular stuff. ;)

Dammit, now I want a Mountain Dew!