Friday, August 4, 2006

Coke or Pepsi?

I'm an unashamed cokeophile. I drink the diet version of it as if my life depended on it.

The Coca Cola Company fascinates me too. Its history is rather colourful and should be made compulsory study for any MBA student. I have friends who have read Shakespeare and Dickens and are fortunate enough to have been affected by these literary classics. Literary seeds have stuck in their minds after being planted by the works of Charles and William and they have gone on to do journalism or write wonderful prose.

Just my luck that, years ago, I read a book that had a lasting effect on me. Intellectual giants go through life quoting and reading Shakespeare and Dickens and devouring and analysing their every word. I read a book on the history of the Coca Cola Company and now I sail through life drumming and drinking Diet Coke. But, like it or not, the Coca Cola Company is a legend.

In the UK they have now released a new drink called Coke Zero. I won't even attempt to explain the technical details about what's in it and which sweetener is used in which drink. Partly because I don't understand it and partly because, if I did, I'd only get the explanation wrong. If you really want to know click on the link:

http://leslie.harpold.com/presents/000696demystifying_diet_cokes.html

What I can tell you is that Coke Zero tastes close to regular or "fat" Coke. If you like the taste of Diet Coke in its own right then you'll probably stick with it (like me), but, if you prefer the taste of Fat Coke and want no sugar, then Zero is the way to go. The marketing campaign is clearly aimed at men, apparently we think that the word "diet" has "girly" connotations and are more likely to be attracted to a sugar free drink without that dreaded word in its title.

Now and again I try to drink some kind of Pepsi, just in case I may find one that I like. So far I haven't. I can't abide the taste of Pepsi in the way some Pepsi drinkers can't stand Coke.

So, yesterday I was in the massive Tesco opposite my work. Everyone knows Tesco, in the UK it has become law to continually complain about the effect Tesco has on small shops and on its suppliers. The same people go to Tesco at least once a week and spend most of their income on its wares.

Tesco has my respect too, for the way in which it has successfully tried to sell everything to everyone. If you want a particular food item, let's say a ready made pie, you can go to Tesco and buy an expensive and high quality one. Or you can buy a middle of the range one, or you can buy a "value" one. This is made from cardboard and comes in a wrapper that you have to colour in yourself. I remember going to Tesco one day last year to buy my lunch. I returned 20 minutes later with a sandwich and a DVD player for my cousin in Kandy (the DVD player not the sandwich). Fortunately it was about 2 days before I flew to SL. Everyone hates the way Tesco is taking over the world but loves the convenience.

Shops like Tesco have reduced the retail prices of many things to almost silly levels. You can go there and buy a pair of jeans for about £4, a mere £2 more than some of their sandwiches. We often don't stop to think about where the price reductions are coming from. It's safe to say that they are not coming from the retailers taking a reduction in profit so it has to be somewhere further along the supply chain. That worries me. Is it by cutting labour rates to already poorly paid workers in the far east? Then, the time we all save by shopping in places like this, is used to enable us to watch more crap TV, or go shopping, either online or in real shops. Now that's ironic Alanis!

I digress. So, there I was in Tesco, in a thirsty mood. In the sandwich section there was no Diet Coke, no Coke Zero, just juice and some different types of Pepsi. I did it, I bought a bottle of Pepsi Max Coffee Cino.

You may well ask why I did such a thing. I look back now with the benefit of laser corrected hindsight and with the superior knowledge one can only gain through experience and I cannot believe it myself. Coffee flavoured Pepsi!???!

It is really the most horrible thing I have ever drunk. As if the name and the description didn't provide enough clues. Although there is no sugar in it, it tastes like pure sugar with the faintest hint of coffee going on in the background. I find it so unpleasant that, if someone came up to me and said that they had made a drink that tasted as bad as the smell of a durian, I'd down it in one rather than have any more of this Pepsi Coffee stuff.

Urrgh!

Never again. Now where's that Diet Coke?

5 comments:

savi3 said...

when in Florida i noticed u can only buy Coke when in Disney they do not sell Pepsi and at Universal Studios it's only Pepsi.. no Coke available !!

Bud said...

Great post. What do you think of coke you get here in SL. I find it tastes different to the same regular coke say in the states, or the coke cans that is imported from singapore. I even feel a differece between the coke buddy versus coke 300ml bottles. Fountain coke tastes I don't much notice this with pepsi though.

You being the coke expert :) what do you think?

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Thanks for your comments.

Bud - I agree about Coke tasting slightly different around the world. My understanding is that it is because of 2 things; differences in the water in each country and local laws regarding food and beverages and what ingredients are allowed. I'm not sure about different sized bottles tasting different but I am certain that Coke tastes different if served in a glass compared to out of a plastic bottle or a can. The best way for me is in a glass, cold and served over ice.

I should probably get out more!!

~ lo$t $oul ~ said...

What ever said done, PEPSI cannot come close to COKE the GIANT THIRST BUSTER!!!! cheerssss

childof25 said...

Coke has an awful coffee flavoured drink as well, coke black...somebody gave me that to try and sort my hangover....my advice...dont ever try that

I really cant tell much of a difference between the two, mind you the only time I drink either is when there's rum in it