Product Reviews: Coke C2

Meryl Yourish, evaluating Coke’s new low carb product, C2, says “It sucked.” She offers an identical evaluation of Caffeine Free Coke and Diet Coke. As an alternative, Kevin Aylward notes that “Diet Lime Coke is surprisingly good.”

I saw C2 in the stores yesterday but, frankly, it’s overpriced and the 8-pack gimmick annoys me. I go out of my way to avoid products intentionally put into irregular package sizes to make price comparison difficult for the innumerate. (Of course, when the store has Pepsi products, including Diet Dr Pepper and Diet Mountain Dew, on sale for 5 for $10 whereas the 8-packs of C2 are 2 for $6, one’s math skills don’t have to be all that good.)

And, really, the variants of Diet Coke–with zero carbs, too–are pretty good. I concur with Kevin on Diet Lime Coke, which I found on sale at the local Wegman’s weeks ago for $2 a 12-pack. I don’t like it as well as Diet Cherry Coke or Diet Vanilla Coke, but it’s better than Diet Lemon Coke, plain Diet Coke, or Caffeine Free Diet Coke.

For those looking for a warmer beverage, Steven Taylor points us to an innovative new decaffeinated coffee, a concept that makes me shudder. Also, apparently TiVo has finally made it to Alabama. He likes it.

UPDATE: Other reactions:

  • Jason Trommetter disagrees with Meryl’s assessment of C2: “[I]t tastes great! In a blind taste test, I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between C2 and Classic.”
  • Jeff Quinton is less enthusiastic, “I still prefer regular Coke but if you’re doing the low-carb thing it’s better than Diet Coke (especially the nastiest stuff known to man – caffeine-free Diet Coke.)” [I believe a consensus is forming on the caffeine-free products. -ed.]
  • Chris Lawrence offers a more nuanced assessment: “My general first impression is that it tastes like a slightly less syrupy version of regular Coca-Cola Classic; unlike, for example, Diet Coke,* it actually manages to evoke the flavor of regular Coke.”
  • Len Cleavelin notes that the new product doesn’t help diabetics much.
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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kevin says:

    Diet Vanilla Coke is the gold standard by which I judge all varients of Diet Coke.

  2. Jeff says:

    Has Pepsi Edge made it to where everyone is yet or is it that people are just so anti-Pepsi that it doesn’t matter?

    Growing up we were a split household. My dad always preferred Pepsi to Coke.

  3. bryan says:

    Unless there has been a drastic change in the soft drink market recently, I can say with a high degree of ceryainty that Dr Pepper is NOT a Pepsi priduct

  4. James Joyner says:

    It’s apparently owned by Royal Crown. It was, however, included in the Pepsi product 5/$10 special, which was all that mattered. 🙂

  5. James Joyner says:

    Actually, I take it back. It was “canned under the authority of” RC, but it’s a Cadbury-Schwepps product.

  6. jen says:

    Diet Vanilla Coke or nothing, thanks. And I’m not the only one who thinks that way, since I very often can’t find it at a couple of the stores I frequent – it’s often sold out.

  7. jj says:

    I purchased the C2 “pack” after trying a free sample at target. It’s too bad. I’ll definetely purchase again. I wonder if Pepsi will follow…

  8. McGehee says:

    I generally avoid the gimmick flavors since I found out the hard way — by trying Lemon Diet Coke — what Lemon Pledge tastes like. I’ll try the new stuff in diet (high-fructose corn syrup makes me ‘yrup) but the only version I’ve found worth drinking more than once or twice is diet cherry cola.

    Of the vanillas, I liked Diet Pepsi better than Diet Coke. Lime Diet Coke was by far the best of the gimmick flavors except for Diet Cherry Coke (which has been around so long it isn’t a gimmick anyway).

    Diet-Rite uses Splenda instead of aspartame, and tastes better than either of the Big Two.

  9. Jeff says:

    Dr. Pepper is doing its own deals in some places now but some places it still is handled locally by Royal Crown or Coke or Pepsi.

    If it’s a market Coke handles Dr. Pepper in you will have trouble finding Mr. Pibb at places that serve fountain drinks.

  10. Kate says:

    Well, this is deja vu all over again.

  11. Boyd says:

    A couple of years ago, I finally overcame my dislike of diet drinks. For the past several months, I’ve been picking up 12-packs of Diet Vanilla Coke or Diet Vanilla Pepsi, whichever one is on sale. I think I give a slight edge to the Coke product, but not enough to make me pay the non-sale prices (skinflint that I am — true to my Scots-Irish heritage).

    Fortunately, at the local Safeway, one or the other of them is always on sale.

  12. Alice says:

    Caffeine free diet Pepsi in the can, not plastic bottle, is edible and thirst quenching, but not yummy. The vanilla stuff is like drinking a scented candle. I want caffeine back in my life, pleeeeasse. But, apparently some crafty Brazilians have discovered a type of Arabica (sp?) coffee that it naturally decaf. Yahoooo! Unfortunately, it’s going to be a few years before it’s available, at the earliest.

  13. Da Tode says:

    C2 sucks as much as Bush-Cheney. I bet both are taken off the shelf within a few months.