Value for Money

Diet Cola

Which brand will win the diet cola challenge?

Which brand will win the diet cola challenge?

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 01:02

ALDI

€0.59 for 2 litres

Aldi is pulling out all the stops to make us think this is a wonder product. First, we are told that it is not any old diet cola, but a “premium” diet cola. We also learn that it is made with “Irish spring water” and has “no artificial flavours”. We have to take issue with this guff. Spring water? Really? Premium? Absolutely not. And we wonder how the company can possibly claim that there are “no artificial flavours” in the mix when aspartame – hardly the most natural of sweeteners – features so prominently both on the labelling and on the tongue. The only nice thing we can say about this product is that it is cheap. But even at this price we would not be tempted to buy.

Verdict: Poor.

Star rating: *

 

 

TESCO VALUE

€0.59 for 2 litres

This is largely indistinguishable from Aldi’s poor offering. It is a bit fizzier and looks paler in the glass, but we defy anyone taking a cola challenge to be able to tell the two products apart. They taste the same and they cost the same, so they have to get the same low mark. We can’t think how this drink could be made pleasurable; until, that is, a passerby who sees us mournfully drinking it assures us it can be improved immeasurably with a shot of rum.

Verdict: Poor.

Star rating: *

 

 

COCA-COLA ZERO

€2.29 for 2 litres

We are about to buy Diet Coke when we are swayed by the manliness of this bottle. As is Coke’s plan. We are pretty sure Diet Coke and Coke Zero are identical, but the boys in Atlanta twigged some time ago that men didn’t like buying diet drinks, so they gave one of their product lines a makeover and here we are. It is the dearest of the drinks reviewed, and probably the best. Like the competition, it is made with artificial sweeteners, but the aftertaste is less severe and it tastes more like a full-fat Coke than a diet drink. It is refreshing enough, but, were we given a choice, we would go with the sugar option every time and just drink less of it.

Verdict: Marginally better than the rest.

Star rating: ***

 

 

PEPSI DIET

€2 for 2 litres

We take the Pepsi challenge and Pepsi loses, but it is close-run. There are probably people who swear by Pepsi Diet and others who swear by Diet Coke, but we struggle to tell the two market leaders apart. This is fizzy and artificially sweet, and when served cold is sort of refreshing, but it is not something we would ever drink with alacrity. It is 10 per cent cheaper than the self-styled real thing, and does not taste 10 per cent worse, so it gets the nod. But only just.

Verdict: Pepsi is it.

Star rating: ****

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