Diet Coke recently released a new line of flavors, inspired by millennials. Coming in taller, thinner twelve ounce cans, these flavors are Diet Coke’s attempt to reel in more millennials who are drinking other low-calorie beverages such as flavored seltzer waters.
As a living, breathing, and drinking millennial I feel equipped to review these new flavors. I bought all five cans, even original Diet Coke, so I could see if there’s any potential in the flavors. I admit I am an avid consumer of diet sodas so I won’t be deterred by the artificial sweetener nor will I be afraid to consume these beverages because they’re “unhealthy.”
Now, I crack open a can, and perpare to immerse myself in a Diet Coke world…
Original Diet Coke
It’s just Diet Coke in a new can thin enough to easily fit in a toddler’s hand. Perhaps this is the goal, to design a thinner can children have an easy time holding.
This tastes exactly like you’d expect. It’s Diet Coke, just in a thinner can that couldn’t possibly fit in a cupholder. Pretty much anything convenient about the classic can is gone. I must say, I don’t mind the new color scheme. I actually think it looks nice. I just don’t see the need for the new sizing of the can.
Pair this with: Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream of the Future.
I’ll start off by saying this, I don’t like cherry flavored foods and drinks. I like actual cherries, but I’m not a fan of cherry flavoring. But this cherry drink is feisty, so I gave it a chance anyway. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I typically find cherry colas to feel syrupy and the cherry flavor to be overpowering. Given the promise of feistiness, I thought my normal grievances with cherry colas would be amplified. There were not, and the cherry flavor blended with the rest of the soda quite well.
I enjoyed this flavor, and I’d recommend you give it a try, especially if you can enjoy Dr. Pepper. With that said, I don’t see what is so revolutionary about this. After all, Diet Cherry Coke already existed. Because I don’t typically enjoy cherry flavored drinks, I haven’t had Diet Cherry Coke in a while. This was a more enjoyable experience than I remembered, so perhaps Coke tampered with the formula. Other than that they’re just betting on the redesigned can and feistiness to get millennials to buy it. Let’s be honest, that’s why I’m drinking it, so it guess it worked.
Drink this with: a sassy salad. Just an ordinary salad that likely had some type of enhanced dressing such as cilantro ranch plus an added adjective for personality.
Zesty Blood Orange
This flavor made me question if I ever really knew what the word “zesty” truly meant. There’s a lot of words I’d use to describe this flavor, but zesty isn’t one of them.
Now, I will say blood orange is a fruit whose popularity has risen in recent years. While it’s not the first flavor I’d think of when I think of millennials, “blood orange” is definitely a millennial flavor. That might be the only thing that is right about this drink.
When you crack open the can, the orangey aroma is almost on par with a can of Orange Crush. Then you taste the drink and you can barely taste the Diet Coke. If I had to describe the taste of this beverage in a single statement it would be: Diet Orange Crush with experimental new sweetener. The flavor in this drink is about as authentic as the scent in citrus Fabreeze, but the sweet tanginess of a blood orange does shine through.
I wouldn’t really recommend this flavor, but some sorority girl out there just found the perfect mixer for any vodka that comes in a plastic bottle.
Pair this with: dry Oops! All Berries cereal.
Have you been dying to drop a Tropical Starburst into a can of Diet Coke, but you’ve been too afraid of the outcome? Well, it appears Coke took the risk for you.
I have to say, this flavor works more for me than it ought to. My first thought: this is really sweet (well, as much as you can expect from Diet Coke). To the point where it tastes like a mango smoothie where the milk was replaced with Diet Coke. While the mango flavor is apparent upon the first sip, the flavor of the Coke is not completely lost. It also smells overwhelmingly mangoey, but unlike Zesty Blood Orange, the aroma doesn't punch you in the face when you open the can.
I can’t say I’ve ever had a carbonated mango beverage before, so twisted may actually be an appropriate way to describe this fusion. I also can’t say I’ve ever wanted to have a carbonated mango beverage before, so I think the novelty of this drink will wear off quickly. I would recommend trying this, especially if you like tropical flavors, but I don’t see this becoming a staple flavor in the Diet Coke line. The mango flavor is strong enough where I think I would grow sick of it quickly.
Pair this with: all natural blue raspberry Greek yogurt.
For the millennial who can’t decide between a Moscow mule or a “vodka diet,” Diet Coke has a solution for you! Ginger Lime Diet Coke was the flavor I was most curious about. I’m not sure if I was expecting ginger ale or Diet Coke with Lime, but this drink is defintely a mix of the two.
If I did a blind smell test of this drink, I’d think I was about to drink a Sprite Zero. The citrus of the lime overpowers any other fragrance in the drink. You taste the lime as well, but it doesn’t overpower the ginger or cola flavors. These three flavors work better together than I anticipated, and I actually enjoyed this flavor of Diet Coke.
Diet Coke successfully took the feeling of a sick day and put it in a can with this drink. There’s ginger ale and enough citrus to flavor tea, though you can still identify the Diet Coke through this mix. This is the type of drink you sip, and one can will last longer than unflavored Diet Coke. While this flavor may not be for everyone, I wouldn’t be afraid to try it.
Pair this with: questionably vegan avocado toast.
This was a fun experiement. I love trying new flavors, and Diet Coke has given me some unique tastes to try.
I don’t, however, think this new product line will have longevity with millenials. Once the novelty of the unique flavors wears off, there won’t be much enthusiasm around this product line. Diet Coke may be the least millennial beverage in the food kingdom. It’s full of chemicals, unhealthy, inorganic, and has been around of ages. I love Diet Coke, but it’s a drink best suited for the Gen Xers out there.
So try these flavors! I don’t think they’ll be around forever, but I guarantee you’ve spent a dollar on something worse.