I visited my local Safeway to fill my Diet Coke habit andI found that there are now three different versions of low calorie Coke: origional Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Splenda and, in a burst of creative marketing and brand development, the Coke answer to Pepsi One: Coca-Cola Zero.
We purchased all three and held a tasting. The results were:
- Diet Coke still tastes the same. I have been drinking it so long that I prefer the slightly non-sweet taste. But then, I prefer the not-over-sweet tastes of snacks (insert pitch for dark chocolate over milk chocolate);
- Diet Coke with Splenda: this has the base Diet Coke taste but it has an after taste which must be from the sweetener. I think this is a flavor that different people will take differently so you'll have to give it a try. But, as a person who's used to Asperaine, this taste was not pleasent;
- Coca-Cola Zero: YUCK!! It is much sweeter than normal Diet Coke and uses both Aspertane and Splenda for sweetness. They are obviously going for the "sweet drink" profile (Diet Mt Dew, Code Red, ...). Their market surveys must have been telling them that people want this. I'd suspect the flavor is close to the "New Coke" thing from a few years back.
Now, I don't doubt that there is a market for a sweeter drink -- some people like that stuff -- but I don't know why they decided to mingle the product with the Coco-Cola brand and not create another brand. We'll see if their sharp marketing people have gotten this one right. Anyway, I'm sticking to my Diet Coke.