When I was growing up, my mom rarely kept pop -- known to those of you on the east coast as soda -- in the house, so I never really developed much of a taste for it. That is, until I started my first job and my boss guzzled Diet Coke by the boatloads. But then I read about how diet soda can actually contribute to a weight problem and nipped that short-lived addiction in the bud. There's no way in hell I'd touch the full-cal alternative -- made with high fructose corn syrup either. And I'm not alone. Plenty of folks are throwing in the towel on soda, which in recent years has developed quite the rep for being either high-cal or filled with dangerous and/or artificial sweeteners.
So now, it seems, Coke and Pepsi are shaking in their boots and hoping to assuage consumers with the ultimate answer: An all-natural, zero-calorie alternative. Awesome!
But reports are boo-hooing that this development could be years off. Huh??? I don't get it. It's not rocket science. A zero-calorie, all-natural soda already exists! A brand called Zevia makes all different varieties -- orange soda, cola, cream soda, root beer, even a Dr. Pepper-style soda -- that taste awesome! They're sweetened with stevia, a South American plant that is sweeter than sugar but 100 percent naturally calorie-free.
And yet, the complaint from Coke and Pepsi is that people dislike a so-called "metallic aftertaste" they get from stevia. (Let me get this right ... They prefer aspartame or Splenda? Please!) But obviously people like the way Zevia tastes: It's now sold in 10,500 locations -- including Kroger and Whole Foods -- up from just 850 locations four years ago.
Seems to me these soda kings -- and their followers -- could stand to move in the direction of smaller companies that have already trailblazed the way with natural, calorie-free, yummy soda. Because the more chemical-free, calorie-conscious options we have, the better off we'll be!
Would you like to see Coke and Pepsi come out with an all-natural, no-cal soda?
Image via Jannes Pockele/Flickr