Thursday, 21 August 2014

Taste testing new Coca-Cola Life - we think it's as good as The Real Thing!

We are a family of Coca-Cola drinkers. My children love "full fat" Coca-Cola in the iconic red cans, or even better in the vintage-style glass bottles, and I am most likely to be found drinking Zero unless there is none available when I will drink Diet Coke. Bogging diabetes!

biys drinks UK version of Coca-Cola Life
I'm not going to apologise for allowing my children to drink Coca-Cola - we like it as a treat and there are worse things in life to ingest!

 But I have to say I do have guilty moments wondering whether I am right to choose "red" coke with sugar for them in preference to those flavoured with sweeteners which I feel I ought to worry about because of the bad press artificial sweeteners get.

At least recently I was relieved to learn that the caffeine content was not something to lose sleep over - even full-fat" Coke has less caffeine in than green tea I discovered using a handy caffeine calculator.

Imagine my delight this week when I heard about the new addition to Coke's UK stable - Coca-Cola Life with all its sweetness coming from natural sources.  Maybe finally a solution for people worried about the sugar content of full sugar cola but equally keen to avoid artificial sweeteners.

#cocacolalifeEasily spotted with green packaging the new drink has 1/3 less sugar and 1/3 less calories in it than full sugar Coke and the rest of the sweetness comes from Stevia, a natural sweetener harvested from the Stevia plant which is native to Paraguay.

But the million dollar question of course is - does it taste good?

I was sent a collection of Coke varieties to run a taste test which my children were extremely enthusiastic about!

I decided to run a blind test so after chilling the cans I had been sent I set up my extremely scientific experiment (four cans, four glasses, a piece of paper and a pencil) up on the kitchen table.

The family queued up expectantly in the hallway.

I numbered the samples 1-4 and had them try them all then guess which was which and then declare which number they thought tasted best.

First up was DS#2 who we would say is our resident Coca-Cola expert. He has loved the taste and the brand for years and has an impressive collection of foreign bottles and cans (unopened of course) and other memorabilia.
Coca_cola varieties #cocacolalife

He was all for selling the unopened can on an auction site but realising this was not going to happen was first to try the new Life variety. He approached the task with the gravity of a world class wine taster.  We had to hurry him from his sniffing and swirling and swooshing as we we wanted to have a go!

After he had declared his opinion we all took turns, DH mixing them up so I could have a proper blind test too.

And the results? Coca-Cola Life came out extremely well! Three of our six proper testers who were asked to put varieties in order thought the Life variety was actually "real" Coca-Cola, including our resident expert who drinks gallons of the real thing every week!

Both myself and DH identified Life correctly. In fact DH identified all the varieties correctly whilst I was surprised to discover I mixed up Zero and Diet - the varieties I drink most.

Grumpy (aged 5) was only asked which variety he liked best - he chose Life!

Chatting we all agreed that Life was very similar in taste to the full sugar version and all agreed we would definitely buy it. Much to our surprise DS#2 said as long as the price was the same as the red cans, he would choose to buy Life instead. Wow!

I do worry about the amount of sugar he consumes through Coca-Cola. Knowing he was cutting that down by a third would make me an extremely happy mum.To be fair, he's 18. It's his choice now how much he drinks and what he chooses to drink. He's slim and active and rarely eats any other sugary things but even so - to hear him say he would choose this healthier version is great news.

So now- some facts. 

UK #cocacolalife Coca-Cola Life in green canStevia is 200 times sweeter than table sugar but without the calories.

Coca-Cola Life will be made in Great Britain

500ml bottles will be made using PlantBottle plastic with up to 22.5% from plant materials.

A can of Coca-Cola Life contains 89 calories compared to 139 for Coca-Cola.


The new variety will be out in stores very soon - I'd love to know what you think about the idea of this version of Coca-Cola? Do you think you might switch from your current favourite? I know I might treat myself every now and again when the craving for full sugar Coke strikes as 89 calories is a lot easier to work off with exercise than 139 calories!

Disclaimer: I received four cans of Coca-Cola including the new Life variety in a display box free for the purposes of this honest review. Views and opinions remain unbiased and my own (and those of other members of the madmumof7 household in this case!)


5 comments:

  1. Oh I haven't seen or heard of this!! I will be giving it a try though! I do love Coca-Cola.

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  2. I am desperate to give this a try - just to see if it really does have any differences... Loving the new green colour, it's almost vintage-esque!

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    1. Not long to wait now! I like the green and the font on LIFE too.

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