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Twisted, Zesty or Feisty: Choose Your Flavour Adventure

February 1st, 2020 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, do I need to take the Myers Briggs test before I choose my soft drink?

When I was a child (yes, this is going to be a what happened to the good old days post), the soft drink options were straightforward. You choose from the Big Three: Coke, Pepsi and Canada Dry Gingerale. A handful of secondary brands – Sprite, Orange Crush, Fanta – had brief runs before they were swallowed up by the Big Three.

The decision was simple if you craved Cola – Coke or Pepsi. You choose one or the other and were fiercely loyal to it. Along the way, Pepsi dared to introduce the blind taste test: Can you tell whether it is Coke or Pepsi? It was a brilliant marketing tactic in some ways. Despite what the TV commercials implied, most of us loyalists were offended and refused to participate.

(Okay, I admit I was never actually invited to take the challenge so I did not have the opportunity to proudly decline. But I swear on a stack of bibles that I would have.)

But times have changed. Oh my, how they have changed! Modern consumers apparently demand a plethora of choices with sexy names.

What got me thinking along these lines was the new commercial for Diet Coke XTRA Toasted Vanilla. Apparently vanilla on its own is just, well, vanilla. You have to toast it before it becomes a delicacy. But the real bite in this high octane drink comes from the extra dose of caffeine.

I went to the Coke website to see what flavours currently exist. If you want the hard stuff (no wimpy diet soda for you), your colourful choices, complete with their unofficial tag lines, include:

  • Strawberry Guava (life’s a beach)
  • Twisted Mango (wild child)
  • Zesty Blood Orange (you’ll dance)
  • Feisty Cherry (has an attitude)

You must understand that these concoctions are not just drinks. Each is a lifestyle defining choice. For example, the descriptor for Zesty Blood Orange direct from the Coke website:

cracking open a can of zesty blood orange is an experience unto itself. you hear that fizz and taste that zesty blood orange flavoured goodness, and your senses just come alive. you’ll dance. you’ll LOL. you’ll stand up on your desk and yell “CARPE DIEM” and everyone will stare at you awkwardly.

If these choices do not light your fire, try these specialty sodas: British Columbia Raspberry (Silly me, I did not know that B.C is the raspberry capital of Canada), Georgia Peach (I will let you draw your own associations) and Coca Cola de Mexico (Does it come with a worm at the bottom of the bottle?).

Truthfully, for health reasons, I seldom consume soft drinks these days. That is fortunate since I do not see a flavour aimed at

aging baby boomer, change impaired, oh my aching back, no caffeine after 6:00, less is more, hold the dairy and glutton

Soft drink flavours as a metaphor for our life choices – welcome to the new age, 21st Century.

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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