Deep-diving into the future after diet soda


The Coca Cola versus Pepsi great debate?

Who makes a better root beer: A&W, Mug, Barq’s or none of the above?

What diet soda tastes the most like its original counterpart?

Since Joseph Priestly infused his water with carbon dioxide back in 1767, as a possible cure for illness, soda has become a multi-billion-dollar endeavor, and the race to make the greatest tasting soda has been a growing industry even before our nation was a nation.

I’m always amazed at how good and bad a product can be viewed when it comes to soda. Take Dr. Pepper for instance.

While nobody knows for sure exactly where the name came from and from which institution of higher education Mr. Pepper received his Ph.D., the good Dr. has a blend of 23 tasty flavors intertwined into one striking flavor.

Some call it the finest soda ever invented. Others deem it a horrible-tasting medicine.

Then there’s the Old Coke versus New Coke, where on April 23, 1985, Coca Cola nearly invented itself right out of people’s hearts by changing its formula to a sacrilege New Coke formula to stave off hard-charging Pepsi Cola as the No. 1 soda in the nation.

That debacle somehow turned into a promotional windfall for Coca Cola, which promptly told the world it was sorry for ever doubting the people, returned to Coke’s former glory and that bit of honesty propelled Coca Cola far beyond Pepsi.

Then there’s all of the generic knock-off brands of sodas, like King Cola, Dog-n-Suds, Mist Twist, Doctor Thunder, Mountain Moondrops, Hillbilly Holler and a host of other entries trying to make their way to financial freedom by copying a famous soda and renaming it in ways that are designed to confuse and confound soda drinkers.

Around the hills of Holmes County, there is little debate as to what soda is king of the hill. Mountain Dew reigns supreme, hands down.

I myself am a tried and true Diet Cherry Coke guy, and I’ve never quite gotten on board the Mountain Dew train, but I’m not here to chastise and belittle those who opt for a flavor other than one of my choosing.

Instead, my aim is to bring soda into the 22nd Century before its time.

OK, when soda was invented and perfected, it had loads of sugar in it. Today’s soda contains somewhere around 40 grams of sugar in a 20-ounce container, although Mountain Dew has blown away the competition in that area, boasting a whopping 77 grams of sugar per 20 ounces. Perhaps that has something to do with the popularity, no?

In the late-1950s, Diet Rite offered a soda called Diet Rite, but it wasn’t until 1982 when Coca Cola came up with a popular new and inventive alternative to the sugary confections, ushering Diet Coke in as the founding father of diet sodas. Then the diet craze truly took flight.

It caught on immediately, and despite the fears of the ingredients behind the low-cal/no-cal sodas, diet sodas have become an entity unto themselves.

But that concept simply isn’t good enough anymore, and I am offering up my suggestion to the major soda companies to bring us into the next phase of the soda world: the weight-loss soda.

Nope, diet sodas simply aren’t good enough anymore. We need a soda that not only offers us calorie-free goodness, but also one that melts away the fat, burns calories and carves off weight from the moment its user cracks open that can or bottle, releases that famous fizzing sound and takes the first delightful sip.

Can you imagine the billions of dollars that are just waiting out there for the first soda company to dip into this pool and deliver an honest-to-goodness soda pop that not only tastes great but delivers on its promise to take off the pounds while you drink?

I can only imagine what inventive ingredients will be involved with that new soda, but can you even dream of the day of cracking open a Coke Sub-Zero or a Pepsi Slimmer, a Mountain Dew-Drop the Weight, or perhaps a Dr. Pepper -23? My friends, whoever wins that battle will be sitting on a mountain of money.

Alright soda gurus, you’ve been greenlit.

May the best soda win.

I only hope they remember who suggested it in the first place.

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