When I was a kid (back in the 80's), Coke was Coke. It came in two varieties, Coke or Diet Coke. I remember getting stupidly excited when Cherry Coke was launched (then with the tongue-twistingly long name Cherry Coca Cola Cherry Coke - I still remember the advert and I had a rather fetching pair of cherry coke socks too !) because it seemed so new, so exotic and so very American ! Since then, I admit that I've found it a bit hard to keep up. I've seen limited edition flavours appearing and disappearing (I seem to remember lemon, lime, orange, vanilla and coffee ?), the caffeine-free variety hit the shelves and then Coke Zero was born. I admit it, I still never know what the difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero is. Coke Zero has been labelled "bloke coke" because men were put off by the girlie word diet, but I can never tell the difference.
So when Coca Cola sent me through a tasting box of their products, I was keen to give them a proper test and see if I could finally taste the difference. It was also a great chance to sample their newest offering, Coca Cola Life.
Coca Cola Life is designed as a compromise between regular coke and Diet Coke. It contains 1/3 less sugar than regular coke and replaces artificial sweeteners with Stevia leaf extract. This video explains how it fits into the brand's portfolio and why it has been created.
I actually understand this one. I personally avoid regular coke like the plague because it is way too high in sugar and calories - a 330ml can contains 139 calories and 35g of sugar. I always opt for Diet Coke or Coke Zero, both of which contain no sugar and pretty much zero calories (1 calorie for a 330ml can). If I'm watching my waistline, they're my guilt-free sweet treat.
Coke Life is considerably higher in calories and sugar than the diet versions - it contains 27 calories per 100ml so a 330ml can contains 89 calories and 22.1g of sugar - but it also contains no artificial sweeteners. When I was pregnant, I stayed away from diet sodas because some medical experts (on and offline) said that there still wasn't sufficient data available to know if consuming artificial sweeteners could be bad for you during pregnancy so they were best avoided. Coke Life would be a great compromise, reducing the calories and sugar while avoiding the artificial sweeteners.
Taste-wise, I'll be honest - I still couldn't really taste any difference ! It's not as syrupy sweet as regular coke (which I don't like any more after switching over to Diet Coke or Coke Zero) but I couldn't really taste any difference compared to the no-calorie versions. What I'd really like to see is a sugar-free version of Coke Life, using just Stevia for a natural calorie-free option.
for more information : http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/health/stevia/introducing-coca-cola-life.html
Disclosure : I received the product in order to write an honest review.
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