Battle of the Brands: Coke

By Bridgette Gong

The Oracle (Palo Alto, California)

So it’s a hot day and you’re thirsty for some soda. That iconic red-bannered, white- labeled bottle of Coke is calling your name, but as you reach to grab it, your hand brushes past something else that catches your attention. It is a clear bottle containing a fizzy dark brown liquid and light red packaging that reads “Cola.” Hmm… sounds suspiciously familiar. It appears you’ve come to a fork in the road: grab the same bottle of Coke that has been present in your fridge, barbeques and parties throughout pretty much all your life, or be a little bold and give that Safeway branded “Cola” a shot. What’s the difference anyway?

These days, original companies of everything from food to clothes are getting their most popular ideas ripped off by other companies who make minor changes to the product and then sell it for a cheaper price.. That is why the phrase “cheaper is better”, is actually not necessarily true in several cases.

Today I drank both and came to the conclusion that while the two tasted very similar, the original brand Coke won the competition for better taste. Both looked appeared the exact same from the outside. I wasn’t sure at first, if there was going to be much of a difference in flavor, but that assumption was incorrect. While several brands of food (for example, Coke and “Cola” or Oreos and Trader Joe’s’ “JoJo’s”) may advertise themselves very similarly, noticeable differences in taste do exist. The slight difference of ingredients did result in a not so slight difference of taste:  the Safeway brand of “Cola” had a more sour and slightly bitter flavor that preceded the familiar sweetness of soda. I guess the saying “stick to what you know” holds true when it comes down to brands of soda as well.

Photo credit:  Anderson Mancini

Leave a Reply