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."

Advertising Food

Posted on Tue Oct 19, 2004


B.S. Coke is too carbonated and Pepsi tastes smoother.
Posted by Dan  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  01:44 AM
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
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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  on  Tue Oct 19, 2004  at  09:07 PM
Both taste better when mixed with Scotch :D
Posted by Nefertari  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  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  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  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  on  Thu Nov 04, 2004  at  02:47 PM
There is an obvious difference in taste and mouth feel. Pepsi is more minty and sweet while Coke is more caramel and fizzy. I don't really prefer one over the other though. Maybe Pepsi just slightly more. Coke has this kind of dry aftertaste.
Posted by Shamus  on  Wed Nov 24, 2004  at  03:48 AM
Once I tried a "Pepsi One" and ended up involuntarily spraying it out of my mouth because it was so awful. I can't *stand* Pepsi in any form.

Mr. Pibb does an excellent Dr. Pepper imitation, though.
Posted by Daniel McLaury  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  01:33 AM
pepsi is lolly water and coke tastes best from a can...COKE RULES...
Posted by Mark Ashton  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  06:00 AM
No matter what your preference is or what you're drinking... it all tasted better, and seemed colder for longer, when it was in GLASS recyclable containers. Does anyone else remember the 16-ounce returnable bottles that came in cartons of eight? Those were the BEST ever but as usual were done away with in the name of profits. They also encouraged recycling whereas their plastic counterparts encourage just the opposite. We were in Canada on vacation in 1996 and they still had the Pepsi in 16 ounce returnables long after they were no longer available in the states... are they still out there anywhere?
Posted by Mark-n-Jen  on  Mon Jan 17, 2005  at  01:38 PM
I was just in Israel a few weeks ago, and although alot of the coke comes in the plastic bottles, they still sell some of the coke in the glass bottles. Pepsi too. Of course those bottles have coca cola and pepsi written in hebrew on one side, but it was definitly nice getting to drink coke out of glass bottles again.
Posted by Razela  on  Mon Jan 17, 2005  at  05:17 PM
I can taste the difference. Coke is fizzier
Posted by Cat  on  Mon Feb 28, 2005  at  03:32 PM
hi every one..i am in the seenth graade and i'm doing a science fair project..please write back to tell me thw resulta straight out of what you got in the coke v.s. pepsi. I need this for my science project by April 16th..please!!!!! A.S.A.P. if possible!! thank you
Posted by Brenda  on  Fri Apr 08, 2005  at  07:11 PM
Brenda, none of us here actually did the coke vs. pepsi experiment. We are just discussing what we think would happen. You should conduct the coke/pepsi blind taste test yourself for your science fair project. Good Luck!!
Posted by Razela  on  Sat Apr 09, 2005  at  02:36 AM
i know..i've already started my experiment by testing 3 people but they all said they preferred pepsi..but when they actually tasted it, they preferred coke..this makes me contemplate a lot because when i've researched, the interent sites such as this one, they have told me that pepsi has more sugar and that it tastes sweeter. Now i'm going crazy🐛 becuase i have my facts all mixed up. and the reason why i needed some one to help me by telling me what they got was that i needed it for me research part of the 6 steps(hypothesis, experiment, data, research..ect.) Thank you for your concern, please write back and if anyone knows any interent site that would help, please if you will, give me some of them...
-Brenda 😊
Posted by Brenda  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  06:14 PM
Brenda, try this website:

In their experiment people prefered coke over pepsi and rc. I don't think you are going crazy at all with the sweeter thing. Pepsi is most definitely sweeter than coke, but that's also the reason that I personally like coke better than pepsi, though I'm not a fan of either. Coke being less sweet probably accounts for alot of people liking it more.

On another note, I think it would be cool if someone ever did an experiment comparing whether people like coke or pepsi to how many taste buds they have. I bet people with more tastebuds would like coke more while those with less would prefer pepsi.
Posted by Razela  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  09:17 PM
thanks've been a big help..i'll tell you my results when i'm fully done!
Posted by Brenda  on  Wed Apr 13, 2005  at  05:22 PM
Pepsi is better than Coke because...
1)It has way less sugar, the sugar in coke mattes your teeth and gives you this disgusting feeling

2) Coke goes flat faster than Pepsi.

3) Pepsi has more carbonation.
Posted by Austin Sims  on  Sat Apr 30, 2005  at  11:59 AM
omg coke rules pepsi copied as is such a stupid company
Posted by rachel  on  Mon May 09, 2005  at  12:25 PM
I have a little bit of input on this particular subject. I have been an employee of the Coca Cola Company for 7 years now, and would like to weigh in with my two cents. First of all, anyone who is claiming to know recipe differences between coke and pepsi really needs to note the sources of this information. Both of those formulas are closely guarded secrets(there are only a handful of people in the world who know exactly how much of what goes into coke) The product arrives in a premade syrup form at nearly every production facility in the U.S. outside of Atlana. Secondly, Pepsi nearly fell off the face of the planet, and was getting absolutely killed by Coke in sales until Pepsi picked up the mountain dew product. Had they not, we would be talking about them now with the distant fondness that my grandparents talked about Moxy cola with. Yes, I believe there is a discernable difference in flavor between the two. Here is the real bottom line in the flavor difference between Pepsi and Coke(and the reason I work for the company). Coke simply cuts through the flavor of a hard liquor much better than Pepsi does. People may not be able to tell the diffence between Coke and Pepsi, but they can definately tell the difference between a rum and Coke, and a rum and Pepsi. That may be a little more than two cents, but you guys can keep the change.
Posted by Matt  on  Thu Jun 16, 2005  at  12:48 AM
I can pick out coke and pepsi in a blind taste test among 4 colas. The other two are RC cola and Faygo cola. The latter two are very similar for me wich I only got right about half the time. However out of the 15-20 times I have done this i have only confused coke for pepsi twice and never the other way around. Still i beleive that the general public is just ignorant and subject to advertising. By the way am a Pepsi drinker. (this was out of the can or bottle. it is much harder to do by fountain.)
Posted by Mike  on  Fri Aug 12, 2005  at  10:57 PM
I actually took the original Pepsi Challenge in the late 1970's, and I noticed they switched the glass bottles so it would look like a Coke drinker actually preferred Pepsi. The problem with this is that anyone who is familiar with both tastes will recognize which is which and realize there was a switch.

Anyway, what about the people who loved Coke but hated New Coke? If the difference was in people's heads they wouldn't have even known the formula had changed.

I prefer Dr. Pepper myself, to avoid being a part of this tumultuous turmoil.
Posted by eriC draveS  on  Fri Aug 26, 2005  at  02:07 AM
i know that pepsi is my favorit,anyways my class did this experaments and less than half of the class didnt know the difference between Coke and Pepsi, of coures I got it right.My class mates said that Pepsi is sweeter and Coke is more frizzier. 😊 :shut: oh and some people say that the drink a certain brand because they like the polar bear or the singer or actor that spunser it. you know Britney Spears with Pepsi 😉, but hay write me up if you find out some thing. SEEYA
Posted by cristina .c  on  Fri Aug 26, 2005  at  12:01 PM
coke has more phosphoric acid than pepsi, and it will eat away rust. if it eats away rust, just imagine what itll do to your stomach. thats why i will now drink no coke.
Posted by Amanda  on  Tue Sep 06, 2005  at  06:29 PM
You are aware that your stomach naturally contains hydrochloric acid, aren't you? It's in much higher concentrations and amounts than what you find in Coke.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Wed Sep 07, 2005  at  08:23 AM
coke is truly better than pepsi because it is sweeter and pepsi goes flat way too quickly.
Posted by bt  on  Sat Sep 10, 2005  at  03:16 PM
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