I can honestly say that Coca-Cola Life is the best-tasting reduced calorie soft drink I have ever tried in my life.
Boy that isn't saying much.
This is no diet drink at 60 calories per 8-oz. glass bottle. However, Coca-Cola says this product has 35% fewer calories.
The new Coca-Cola product has been tried out in other countries: I knew about Argentina when the drink was first announced here. This is also a good sign since the world gets better Coca-Cola products than the United States or Canada.
This product has 2 major advantages that have nothing to do with the drink itself: a smaller 8 oz. size and a glass bottle.
The joy of drinking Mexican Coca-Cola is having a glass bottle. Often though, these days for me, 12 oz. is too much. Some days, 8 oz. is too much but the size is much more desirable.
You could see yourself taking a bottle of Coca-Cola Life for an outdoor picnic or barbecue.
For those who like the taste of Stevia, you won't run into the only major concern about Coca-Cola Life: the aftertaste.
Like our superlative at the top of the column, the aftertaste from Coca-Cola Life is the best-tasting aftertaste from any reduced calorie soft drink I have ever tried in my life.
The idea of having a reduced-calorie soft drink with no aftertaste is as likely as getting me to try Sweetos, a sweet version of Cheetos.
35-40 calories in a 2,000 calorie diet is not that significant, provided you only have 1 soft drink every so often.
If I take a 12 oz. bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola and I keep the same product intact but pour the contents into an 8 oz. bottle, I've reduced the calorie intake by 33%. No Stevia, no aftertaste.
We are seeing more efforts to go to small bottles, and that is a good sign, even if most of those small bottles contain high-fructose corn syrup.
The funny part is that on grocery store shelves, we are seeing mass amounts of smaller packages. Consumer health isn't the motivation. Take spaghetti sauce jars: they used to be 32 oz. of sauce. Companies needed to raise the price of sauce, but at 32 oz., customers would notice a price increase. So the strategy was to shrink the jar and not raise prices.
That 30 oz. jar of sauce costs the same, but you get less sauce.
The math would help consumers in smaller bottles of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, but what would companies get out of having smaller sizes?
Soft drink companies understand that having smaller sizes will encourage some consumers to have a soft drink more often if they can control the portion size. You can pour as little or as much spaghetti sauce from the jar and know the rest of the contents will be fine. Soft drinks come up short due to packaging limitations and the limited fizz of a carbonated drink.
A 12 oz. soft drink can could be more tempting if a) I was sharing the drink with someone or b) if I could drink 6-8 oz. instead of 12 oz. and save the rest.
We see the total calories on a 12 oz. soft drink can and could easily think, "That isn't so bad." Imagine if we had a 6 oz. or 8 oz. option with cane sugar, no Stevia or artificial sweeteners, in a glass bottle. That would be refreshing.
photo credit: me