Review: Coke Zero VaniLLa
Blogging is really funny. A lot of people really liked my post on Diet Coke Plus. I think it’s because it turned into somewhat of a rant about how much I loved Diet Coke, and how much I hated Coke for killing my favorite variant, Diet Vanilla Coke.
Well, I found out I wasn’t the only one ranting about Diet Vanilla Coke. In fact, this guy actually wrote a heart-sick letter to the Coca-Cola Company about the cancellation, back in 2005.
Anyway. The same guy wrote a review of Coke Zero VaniLLa. It was hilarious, so I had to get it and try it for myself.
Look, Coke Zero isn’t Diet Coke. It’s not just a branding exercise, the sweetner formulation is a different. Instead of Nutrasweet, Coke Zero uses a blend of Nutrasweet and Ace-K to get a taste that is supposed to be more like regular Coke. In fact, they have a whole ad campaign about this which I think is hilarious. (Since I used to manage a sub-brand of eBay, I find these type of marketing problems really interesting.)
Anyway, back to the new
abomination Coke Zero VaniLLa.
I should have known what I was getting into when I saw the two capital-L’s in the title.
Rating: 6. It’s sad, but this is actually worse than Coke Zero. I don’t think I’ll be buying this again, but I would drink it ahead of other variants in a pinch.
I knew it wasn’t going to get higher than an 8, because the Coke Zero base is just such a bad start. But I was surprised to find out it doesn’t taste like vanilla. It only smells like vanilla! It was so bizarre, I had my wife confirm it. Very strange, and it grows annoying to have this wonderful vanilla smell, and then not have any taste to back it up. It just tastes sweet – but a fake sweet. Too much fake sweet. It over-promises and under-delivers. At least Coke Zero under-promises and under-delivers.
Update (6/14/2007): OK, OK. I’m upgrading this to a 7. I’ve had a few more of these now, and I think I’m getting used to it. Not as bad as the first one.
Coke, just bring back Diet Vanilla Coke already. Own up to your mistake.
So, here is my updated ranking of the Diet Coke universe:
- Diet Pepsi (1)
- Diet Coke with Lemon, discontinued (3)
- Caffeine-Free Diet Coke (4)
- Diet Cherry Coke (5)
- Diet Coke with Lime (6)
- Coke Zero VaniLLa (7)
- Coke Zero (7)
- Diet Coke Plus (7)
- Diet Coke with Splenda (8)
- Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke (8)
- Diet Coke (10)
- Diet Vanilla Coke, discontinued (11)
Diet Vanilla Coke forever, man.