Coca Cola is one of the biggest and most famous global brands, with products sold all over the world. People recognise the logo, and the iconic glass bottle is one of the most easily recalled types of packaging. We also know that Coca Cola contains a lot of sugar, and in an increasingly health-conscious society it comes as no surprise that Diet Coke had such success when it launched back in 1982.

Sweet as Sugar

With no sugar, Diet Coke is sweetened artificially with aspartame. The drink was created with its own flavour and not pitched simply as a sugar-free version of ‘real’ Coke. It retains its own identity. It was an unbridled success, and continues to be so more than thirty years later.

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Diet Coke did have some challenges, though, as it became seen as a predominantly female drink thanks in part to the design of the packaging and the marketing strategies and high-profile TV advertising. Young men tended to avoid it.

Having considered the ‘problem’ of a hugely successful brand for years, Coca Cola launched Coke Zero with its distinctive dark can. It was intended to be more attractive to men. Coke Zero is designed to taste like the original Coca Cola, but it’s a sugar-free version and like Diet Coke it is sweetened with aspartame.

Last year, Coca Cola brought Coca Cola Life to the UK market place as a sugar-free, aspartame-free alternative. Sweetened with a natural sweetener, stevia, it is a low-calorie rather than no-calorie drink and had already had some success in South America.

Coca Cola describes the difference as a different flavour base. Business Standard debates whether one is better than the other, or if they are just different.

Keep It Cool

Refrigeration is often key to serving these drinks at their best, and consistent temperatures will make sure your preferred version tastes right every time. This goes for drinking at home, in a bar or restaurant or buying a drink on the move. It is probably a long time since you ordered a Coke in a bar and weren’t offered it with ice because of the importance of serving consistency.

Serving these products in your bar or restaurant will likely come with a list of dos and don’ts, precisely because many establishments disappoint their customers by getting it wrong. Many bars and pubs will serve a ‘regular’ and a diet version of their soft drinks, particularly their chosen cola brand, and it will be visible, whether it’s from a pump on the bar or from cans or bottles in fridges behind it.

Complete service suppliers such as empire UK specialise in supplying the syrups and equipment, including pumps and fridges, to help you get it right every time.

As for which is better, Diet Coke or Coke Zero, it comes down to a simple decision of personal taste. How much that is influenced by the marketing teams is debatable.