I tried Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda today. It was vile.
I tried Coca-Cola C2 at its unveiling. I couldn’t stand it.
The new sweetening schemes — C2 is a sop to the low-carbohydrate trend and a midway drink, with calories between Classic Coke and Diet Coke — are meant to bring the flavors of the diet colas closer to the original. Cola makers think that’s necessary because America’s getting fatter, meaning diet drinks are sure to claim even more market share than they are already. Last year, sales of Diet Pepsi rose 6.7 percent and Diet Coke by 5 percent (although Coke products have more market share to start with).
At one time, I would have applauded the effort.
But having trod down the path of Diet Coke, arrived at the font of Caffeine Free Diet Coke and drunk deep, the flavor of the original is as offensive to me as that of, well, Pepsi, that sickeningly sweet syrup. Diet Coke has been around since 1982, and Caffeine Free Diet Coke was introduced a year later. Having introduced America to the delights of “diet” flavor and aftertastes, it seems a trifle unfair to ask people to start appreciating the rich, disgusting flavor of Classic Coke again.
I guess once you go lack, you can’t go back.