Friday, December 26, 2014

Coca-Cola Life tastes good, worth a try

I’m a Coca-Cola drinker. I drink regular Coke, not the Diet or Zero varieties, because I don’t like the bitter aftertaste of artificial sweetener aspartame used in those diet sodas.
I also prefer the lighter taste of Mexican Coca-Cola made with cane sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup. But usually I stick with the U.S. variety of Coca-Cola, because it’s cheaper and can be bought in cans.
Recently I tried Coca-Cola Life, a new version of Coke flavored with cane sugar and stevia.
I bought two six packs of Coca-Cola Life in 8-ounce bottles at my local Giant grocery store. I would have preferred 12-ounce cans for a better comparison to what I’m used to drinking. The 8-ounce bottles seemed like samplers.
Coca-Cola Life smells a little like licorice, which must be the stevia leaf extract. But the beverage was smooth and light with no aftertaste.
Coca-Cola Life is advertised as a reduced calorie cola, with 35% fewer calories than regular Coke. (An 8-ounce bottle has 60 calories vs. 100 calories for regular Coke.)
If my math is correct, a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola Life would have 90 calories vs. 140 calories for regular Coke.
But Coca-Cola Life is much more expensive. I paid $4.50 for each six-pack of Coca-Cola Life bottles (list price: $4.99). That works out to 9.4 cents a fluid ounce after discount and 10.4 cents an ounce list price.
The same day I bought a 12-pack of Coca-Cola cans for $3.33 on discount (list price: $5.99). That works out to 2.3 cents an ounce on discount and 4.2 cents an ounce list price.
I’d drink Coca-Cola Life if it was closer in price to regular Coke. But the smaller serving sizes and higher price are deal killers.
I haven’t tried Pepsi’s rival stevia product, Pepsi True, but I see it’s being offered in 7.5 ounce cans. Not a good sign.
I also haven’t tried Zevia’s zero calorie cola, which contains stevia and the sugar alcohol erythritol. But I plan to soon.

Update 5-31-15: Coca-Cola Life is no longer for sale at my local Giant grocery store. Also, I tried Zevia’s zero calorie cola and it’s terrible.

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