Monday, November 14, 2005

Soda Me (say the title fast several times)

I grew up drinking Pepsi Cola. I don’t know why that was the favored soft drink at home, but Pepsi was what my parents bought every time we had a party or a special occasion. I remember tasting Coca Cola and found it too bitter compared to Pepsi’s sweet taste. And even though I don’t remember any Pepsi commercial but the “I’d like to teach the world to sing” Coke campaign is etched in my mind, I remained loyal to Pepsi.

When I grew older I discovered that it was Coke not Pepsi that was the world-wide market leader in the cola war. Suddenly I was reminded of my tomato-vs.-banana ketchup predicament: as a kid I thoroughly loved banana ketchup until I found out that ketchup was actually tomato. But by that time I was old enough and my taste buds could appreciate not-so-sweet ketchup, so my switch to tomato was painless. (At home we often have both tomato and banana ketchup because my sister prefers the latter.) So I switched to Coke.

I moved on to Diet Coke when I started working out. “Diet” became “Light,” and for the longest time that was my poison of choice. Despite employing Michael Jackson (and burning up his hair), Madonna (channeling her controversial “Like A Prayer” to sell soda) and Michael J. Fox in several humorous TV clips, I remained a die-hard Coke addict.

But lately a change has happened. I noticed it the first time a few months ago when I was in front of the freezer at a convenience store and I was staring at my choices. Looking at the Coke Light cans I suddenly felt like skipping those silver-with-red-stripe cans and reaching instead for a Diet Pepsi. The Coke Light can design hasn’t changed for several years and now it looks so old, so tired. Though the taste remains the same, the packaging now turns me off. So for the first time I tried a Diet Pepsi. It tasted almost the same; as far as I was concerned, Diet Pepsi was a viable substitute for Coke Light. Good gosh, was I getting soft on my drinks?

Then Pepsi Max came along, and now I’m a fan. Okay, let me clarify things before you brand me a “turn-coke.” I still like Coke Light, but given a choice between that in can and Diet Pepsi in can, these days I’m more inclined to pick the latter. (Sometimes I’d chose the former for loyalty’s sake, but that really depends on my mood.) And if I’m in the mood for something sweeter I’d choose Pepsi Max. My only problem with it? I don’t like the very dark color of the packaging—it’s too much like Pepsi X, which was a flop. To me a lighter color fits better with a diet or “light” drink. Plus, I don’t like the font used for the word “Max”—it’s too Mad Max-ish.

Oh dear, it’s the packaging. My taste buds are now being led by my eyes. I must remind myself: Beauty is only packaging-deep. Real taste is inside the can.


Blogger the typesetter said...

You should see the Coke Zero bottle. It looks like a morph of Coke Light and Coke Classic. The taste, sadly, scores the same as the name.

4:15 PM  
Blogger sky said...


aaah gets ko na.

dameng soda de mo alam kong ano pepeleen mo.


i prefer cherry coke.

award winning line: "ang tabang ng coke lite, parang pepsi."

4:59 PM  

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