Coke vs. Pepsi

According to the Independent, researchers have proven that the difference between Coke and Pepsi really is all in your head. Apparently the popularity of Coke's brand image causes people to think Coca-Cola itself tastes better, even though it really doesn't taste very different from Pepsi. As the article says: "When asked to taste blind, they showed no preference. However, when the participants were shown company logos before they drank, the Coke label, the more famous of the two, had a dramatic impact: three-quarters of the tasters declared they preferred Coke." I've long suspected this. Personally I can't taste any difference between Coke and Pepsi, but I have a friend who swears passionately that there's a huge difference. Now I can show him this research to prove that he's simply been brainwashed by advertising. Oh, and the Pepsi Taste Test also turns out to be nothing but hot air: "The findings suggest there is no scientific basis for claims made during the Pepsi ad campaign in which testers purportedly chose Pepsi over Coke when they were not told what they were drinking."

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Posted on Tue Oct 19, 2004


I once had a friend (now ex-girlfriend) who could not only tell the difference (easily) between Coke and Pepsi, but could taste the difference between Coke and Coke specially made Kosher for Passover. Furthermore, she could taste the difference (and was able to demonstrate this) between East Coast bottled coke (like from Atlanta) and West Coast Coke.
She did drink a lot of Coke, though (at one time, she was drinking two 2-liter bottles a day), an attribute that was initially charming and quickly proved to be especially irritating.
Posted by Andy  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  01:44 AM
B.S. Coke is too carbonated and Pepsi tastes smoother.
Posted by Dan  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  01:44 AM
I read an article over the summer, I think in the San Diego Union Tribune, on a coke/pepsi lab test just like this one, but the results were just a little different, or maybe it's the same one and it is just explained differently in this article.

Anyways, the results they found were that pepsi actually had a larger impact on the "taste" center of the brain. Basically, that almost everyone's brain thinks that pepsi tastes better. Then though, when they told the person what they were drinking, pepsi still had a greater impact on the taste center, but Coke had a big impact on the "fun" center (basically what alex's article says).

So the difference is that the article I read over summer claimed that pepsi actually tastes better, but people feel better about themselves when they drink coke, and most of the time will say they like coke better.
Posted by Razela  in  San Diego, CA  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  02:12 AM
You're wayyyyy off base on this one. Better check your gullibility quotient!

Most folks I know can taste the difference between the two, blind or otherwise. I personally don't think one necessarily tastes better than the other, just different. And the difference is pretty obvious.

Better get your tastebuds checked!
Posted by coit  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  02:29 AM
I absolutely don't agree. I have done one of those blind tests myself and there is such a difference!
Especially in the light versions of the two.

I do like coca cola.. but i don't like pepsi

Posted by Pasje  in  Rotterdam  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  02:55 AM
it's odd this came up because i am a "coke person." i come from a "coke family" and sunday i had a craving for pepsi. pepsi having a sweeter and less carbonated taste that coke.coke being more crisp. i have noticed pepsi tastes the same in all forms but coke taste different in all forms i.e packaging and from fountains weird?
Posted by mike owen  in  new orleans  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  04:50 AM
They do too taste different. Pepsi has more of a specific taste to it and has more of a bite. Coke is has more of a general cola flavor and tastes sweeter. Brainwashed my butt, I know how to use my tastebuds. Though I don't drink any of that trash anymore.
Posted by Reynard Muldrake  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  06:48 AM
there is a difference, i should know im addicted to the junk, stupid tasty sweet immoral blackish gunk...

mmmmmmm im gonna get a coke
Posted by des  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  06:54 AM
The original article was from the UK. Our familiar soft drinks have diffrent formulas over there. So, the results could be true for England and not true for America.
Posted by Brenda  in  San Antonio, TX  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  08:18 AM
I don't really have a preference, but I do think that Coke has a slightly sweeter taste than Pepsi. Although, I generally refer to all forms of caramel colored carbonated beverages as "coke". What's funny though, if I tell my husband, "Get me a coke..." he'll bring out a Dr. Pepper. (I prefer the good Dr. to other caramel colored carbonated beverages.)

When I was a kid, mom wouldn't let the stuff in the house, so I went on a coke-n-burger-fest when I was on my own...Now that I'm a mom I decided that MY mom was right. We had a 2-liter in the house once when we ordered Pizza....6 months ago, & I can't remember the last time that I bought food that came thru a window!
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL, USA  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  08:44 AM
I'm another one of those who can tell a distinct difference. And some fountain versions do taste different, but only because they're made using the local tap water, possibly with less filtering than the factory bottled versions.
Posted by Matt  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  09:52 AM
I have a book called, "The Big Black Book of Secrets" or some such thing, I haven't read it in a long time, but I remember reading in it that the REAL difference between coke and pepsi is that pepsi has more citrus juice in it and that was all. The only difference. I believe it, as I can taste the more citrus-y taste in pepsi pretty easily. They are very close in taste and formula, however.
Posted by Kathy Johnston  in  CA USA  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  10:04 AM
Fountain drinks always taste better. I prefer fountain to bottled or canned, but I prefer canned to plastic bottles. I think it has something to do with the carbonation.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL, USA  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  10:23 AM
I do agree that soda tastes different in bottles or from fountains, but I think that's based on the ratio of syrup to carbonated water, more than the local tap water. It might be a combination. The person that noted that foreign sodas, even the same brand, have different formulas. You can buy Mexican Coke at a lot of mexican grocery stores. Mexican Coke is quite a bit sweeter than the American formula.

I can taste a difference. But I try to drink sprite or water or gatorade, mostly to avoid caffein.
Posted by Bill B.  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  11:04 AM
Politics is just another word for "brand loyalty". If you don't believe me, wrap a Democrat or Republican logo onto a chimpanzee and run it for Congress. Guaranteed that monkey would pick up more votes than a human being with a "generic" third-party label.

What I remember of the disingenuous Pepsi Challenge (at least as it was administered in our city) was that the Pepsi was served cold a fizzy while the Coke was warm and flat. No wonder we had a 97% Pepsi preference ranking!

I like to think I can detect a slight taste difference between brands. I prefer Coke to Pepsi, but the diet and caffeine-free versions of Pepsi over their Coke counterparts.
Posted by anon  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  01:49 PM
I am a dedicated Coke drinker. I think that Coke has more cola flavor, while Pepsi is sweeter.

I also think that the fountain Coke from Friendlies restaurants is the best on earth.

Soda in Mexico and South America tastes different because it is made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.

I try to not drink the stuff regularly anymore, because the phosphoric acid in it gives cola the ability to remove rust!
Posted by Katey  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  01:56 PM
Real men drink coke. They can handle the extreme carbonation bubbles (especiallly when they go up your nose).

Meanwhile Pepsi is for sissies and momma's boys because it's so sweet and gentle.

But in my honest opinion, water is the true winner.
Posted by john  in  NH  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  03:20 PM
I thought they already tried slapping a Republican lable on a chimp and running him for president? Ha ha. *FBI kicks down door*
Posted by Reynard M.  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  04:20 PM
Bunk, my cousin took a blind test run by the Pepsi people and choose Coke out of spite. How could he is they're the same? Long live Jones Soda.
Posted by Dennis  in  NE  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  05:04 PM
Coke is disgusting. I'm a Pepsi girl all the way and I can always ALWAYS tell which one coke is. It has a bad after taste that I just don't like. I wouldn't put it in my mouth if I were dying of thirst in a desert.

I've been a devoted pepsi drinker for over seven years. I rarely drink anything else except if I'm at a restaurant (If it's a coke restaurant, I'll get sprite, lemonade or water.), or if it's morning (milk) or night (water).
Posted by Rita  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  07:47 PM
Kathy Johnston is thinking of William Poundstone's BIG SECRETS, an excellent work. And the difference he expounds between Coke and Pepsi is that Pepsi uses lemon rind oils, where Coke uses orange rind.
Posted by Carl Fink  in  deleted  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  09:07 PM
Both taste better when mixed with Scotch :D
Posted by Nefertari  in  Australia  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  09:44 PM
Back in the early 90's they ran blind taste tests at a local water park. Even back then I could tell the difference no problem. Of course, now my choice would have to be between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi... but, then, that's easy too. Diet Pepsi is disgusting!
Posted by Amber  in  Dallas  on  Wed Oct 20, 2004  at  05:18 PM
I always thought that Coke was kinda metaliic, it seems to leave a weird taste in my mouth. But, I usually drink cokes from cans and pepsi from bottles (my brother keeps cans in the house but I like to buy pepsi for myself when im out) so it's probably just that.
Posted by Ariel  on  Wed Oct 20, 2004  at  08:18 PM
>>>Both taste better when mixed with Scotch :D

What a waste of good scotch.
Posted by Bill B.  on  Thu Oct 21, 2004  at  03:04 PM
>>What a waste of good scotch.

I second that. Though I am quite partial to a bit of scotch mixed with some English ginger wine.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Oct 21, 2004  at  03:10 PM
Meh. I can't stand either. I'm a rootbeer man, myself, with the occasional Bawls for caffination.

Interesting experiment: Combine Diete Coke and Diet Pepsi. The result... water. Seriously. The two cancel one another out, flavorwise, and you're left with bland-tasting, fizzy, brown water.
Posted by Bobcat  in  Californian Oddity  on  Fri Oct 22, 2004  at  02:06 AM
Posted by Evey  on  Sun Oct 24, 2004  at  07:38 AM
I have tried on several occasions to fool my girlfriend by giving her pepsi instead of coke, she says she hates pepsi, and on EVERY attempt she has taken a single sip and known.
Posted by Kaitain  in  Florida  on  Wed Oct 27, 2004  at  12:22 PM
People who claim that there is no difference in taste between Coke & Pepsi should be examined carefully by medical science.
Posted by John Collins  in  Phoenix, AZ  on  Thu Nov 04, 2004  at  02:47 PM
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