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Oh, Soft Drinks, Thou Art Silly!

Let me pose a question. If you’re a dieter, but you still enjoy the crisp, refreshing taste of a premium cola beverage, which ONE do you choose? It’s the age old question, “Pepsi or Coke?”; BUT WAIT!! Is it really??? Surely large, successful companies like Pepsi or Coca-Cola wouldn’t complicate things by competing with themselves…WOULD they?

Let us further assume that your preference is Coke over Pepsi. Coca-Cola has not one, but TWO zero calorie cola beverages out there. Coke Zero is advertised as having REAL cola taste and ZERO calories. My question is, “If Coke Zero has zero calories, and Diet Coke has zero calories but apparently tastes LESS like REAL cola, WHY would you EVER drink Diet Coke in lieu of Coke Zero?”. Keep in mind, I didn't say that Diet Coke doesn't taste like cola. Diet Coke's OWN parent company made that implication when they branded their other product that way.

Pepsi is no better. There is Diet Pepsi. There is Pepsi Max. There have been several iterations of a clear or “Crystal Pepsi”. To be honest, at first I thought, “Hmmmm, ok, well they replaced aspartame with better tasting sucralose, or Splenda” but NO…they didn't! Both products use the sweetener, aspartame. Basically, you've gone through the trouble and expense of creating a new beverage that creates no new market, but only further divides an existing one while only incurring greater cost by diversifying your beverage line (ingredients, packaging, etc…).

I will only briefly touch on Dr. Pepper excluding half of the earth's population by blatantly saying Dr. Pepper's new 10 calorie beverage is JUST FOR MEN. Am I then to infer, that men don't like zero calorie diet beverages, and that those ten extra calories make it bold, and tasty, and maybe that the beverage doesn't go flat as quickly as would, say, Diet Dr. Pepper, which used to be branded as tasting “more like regular Dr. Pepper”?

Ladies and gentlemen of the business-blogging community, I ask you, “Do you not demand more of your beverage companies?”.

Tune in next week for my exciting rant on the microbrew industry.