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Goodbye, Coke Zero

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I wish to associate myself with the remarks of Jay Willis, upon today’s announcement by the Coca-Cola company that as of next week, Coke Zero will be no more. Excerpt:

Coke Zero is the best of all the diet sodas, and it’s not close. Diet Mountain Dew delivers the heartiest caffeine wallop to your late-afternoon drowsiness, but between the multiple-greens color palette, the aggressively 90s-esque disemvoweling, and the EXTREME logo design, being seen in public with a can of it is low-key embarrassing, since it makes you look like a middle-schooler on his 14th consecutive hour of playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Diet Dr. Pepper manages to combine 23 distinct flavors in a way that destroys every single one. And although I haven’t verified this through laboratory testing, I’m reasonably sure Sprite Zero is manufactured by a guy filling plastic bottles from a Sodastream and then spritzing in imitation lime juice out of one of those green plastic spheres they sell at the bodega.

But Diet Coke isn’t going anywhere, you, an ignoramus, might protest. Isn’t that good enough? It is not. Diet Coke is a beverage that tastes like someone left a watered-down, room-temperature glass of store brand cola in an empty coffee tin for three days. It’s roughly the equivalent of emptying a packet of Splenda directly into your mouths and then washing it down with an already-flat bottle of Perrier. This is not a matter of opinion: In 2016, even as soda sales plummeted nationwide, Coke Zero sales grew 3.5% last year, compared to a 1.9% drop for Diet Coke. By law, every offer of Diet Coke that occurs in the United States should be followed immediately by a sheepish apology.

Read the whole thing here. Stupid Coca-Cola company. You are awful. Thirty-two years ago, you inflicted New Coke on the nation. A generation has passed in the interim — a generation that did not live through that cultural collapse, from which we almost didn’t recover. And now look at you. This new replacement drink you’re coming out with ought to be called Dog Vomit, after Proverbs 26:11 (“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly”).

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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