Everybody knows that if you purchase regular Coke from Europe or Mexico, it will taste different because they use regular sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup.
Whether or not that actually affects the taste is primarily up to you, the taster.
However, there are blogs and videos and a podcast devoted to the reasons why the original Coca Cola which comes in little glass bottles and is reportedly made with real sugar, is so much better than the high fructose corn syrup stuff made in the United States.
But that is classic Coca-Cola.
Well, potassium benzoate adds a little bitterness to whatever it’s in.
In fact, it is sometimes used as a natural flavoring agent because of this.
We also know that Coca-Cola company will change the formulation of its soft drinks depending on the region.
They have said this in numerous interviews. So based on these, we can definitively say that yes, a Diet Coke you get in Europe will taste different than a Diet Coke you get in the United States.
But why is this?
But Diet Coke is something you see nearly everywhere you go.
How does it taste different when you go to different countries?
And what about when you get a Diet Coke at Mcdonald’s?
Why does a Diet Coke from Mcdonald’s taste so much better from their fountain than when you pop open a can?
Let’s take a look at those questions.
Why Does Diet Coke Taste Different in Other Countries?
Diet Coke was launched in 1982 and was the first-ever Coca-Cola classic that was available without sugar as Popular Soda.
It quickly became the biggest-selling low-calorie soft drink in the United States.
Once Coca-Cola realized that it had a winner on its hands, it quickly introduced it into other markets, beginning with Great Britain in 1983. Today, Diet Coke is available in over 200 countries.
According to the Coca-Cola company website, people will import Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, and Coke diet drink into countries where it isn’t manufactured.
As with Diet Coke that is made in Europe, the formula for Diet Coke in different countries will vary.
One blatant example of this is in Canada, where the diet coke ingredients list includes some things you don’t find in the United States.
Acesulfame-potassium (also known as Ace K) is a calorie-free sweetener that is about 200 times as sweet as normal sugar. However, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste, which is commonly used in combination with other artificial sweeteners to mask the taste. It has the same sweetness level as aspartame, which makes it easy to mix the two. The individual particles of Ace K and aspartame are also the same size. By blending the two aspartame masks, the bitter aftertaste of Ace K and Ace K masks the aftertaste of aspartame.
How Does That Change the Taste?
Acesulfame-potassium (also known as Ace K) is a calorie-free sweetener that is about 200 times as sweet as normal sugar.
However, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste, which is commonly used in combination with other artificial sweeteners to mask the taste.
It has the same sweetness level as aspartame, which makes it easy to mix the two.
The individual particles of Ace K and aspartame are also the same size.
By blending the two aspartame masks, the bitter aftertaste of Ace K and Ace K masks the aftertaste of aspartame.
And this flavor difference isn’t just for the neighbors to the North.
What About Coke Light?
So Why Coke Light vs Diet Coke?
However, Coca-Cola company still manufactures a diet cola that uses the traditional blend of sweeteners that includes aspartame in those countries, so a different brand name was needed.
So, Coke Light was created as a way to manufacture and bottle that type of diet soda so as not to create confusion over imported sodas that use traditional aspartame sweetening.
People who drink Coke Light say that they love how it tastes and have a much different aftertaste and flavor profile from Diet Coke.
They also mention that Coke Light has a different level of carbonation.
There are users on Reddit and other forums who proclaim their love of Coke Light, so if you ever find yourself somewhere it is sold, you may want to give this different formulation a try. Just like Coke Light vs Diet Coke, there exists coke zero vs diet coke because they are not the same in ingredients.
Fountain Diet Coke vs. Bottles and Cans
There’s a reason for this, and the biggest reason is because of the primary ingredient: water.
Diet Coke is made by combining concentrated syrup with carbonated water.
The water itself is carbonated on demand in the restaurant.
It’s not like Mcdonald’s, or your local gas station has a giant bottle of seltzer water under the counter.
Instead, as they dispense Diet Coke (or any other soda), a giant canister of carbon dioxide pushes gas into the water, creating carbonated water as needed.
What Makes McDonald’s Coke Taste Better Than Other Coke?
So, the age of the syrup must play a significant part in the taste of a Diet Coke, or why would they bother?
European coke vs American coke
So the next time you’re wondering, yes, there is a difference, and yes, you will definitely notice it.