BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Soda Satisfaction

8 Comments

There’s a silent soda war going on behind those shiny metallic cans, and it’s not just between the titans of industry, Pepsi and Coke. No, this battle is at the root of every fizzy solution, bubbling up to the surface every time the classic question of sweetness is posed. Should “diet” sodas merely strive to maintain the status quo, sticking with the traditional formulation of artificial sweeteners that may or may not be even worse than sugar or even high-fructose corn syrup, or could there be something better still out there? Zevia is one company bold enough face that controversial query head-on, producing zero-calorie carbonated beverages in a rainbow of natural colors that eschew the classic chemical cocktail that most brews rely on.

It was love at first sip so many years ago, and you’ll rarely find my pantry stocked with fewer than three different varieties at a time. Now, when I heard that they were switching up the foundation, adding an innovative new sweetener into the mix, I was alarmed. Would my beloved Zevia still taste as good, or would this story turn into a modern retelling of New Coke?

Offering the same lineup of flavors I’ve come to know and love, now monk fruit extract, the newest all-natural non-caloric sweetener, has been invited to the party. Stevia and erythritol round out the sugarless foundation, a trio that Zevia as dubbed “SweetSmart.” Strongly resistant to change in general and repelled by the concept at first, it seemed like crazy talk to merely suggest tampering with the formula. Why fix what isn’t broken? Zevia has been the only soda in my fridge for a number of years now, so surely any variation in that familiar flavor could only weaken the brand.

Dispelling that notion with just one big, fizzy slurp, I couldn’t be happier that my assumptions were proven wrong. Sure, family and friends had sometimes remarked that the bubbly elixir was too sharp and not nearly sweet enough for their palates, but these were comments brushed off as unfair comparisons. No, a so-called “diet” soda wouldn’t have the same addictive sugary rush as a corn syrup-sweetened can of conventional soda, although now I see the validity in that point. The new and improved Zevia sodas are distinctly smoother, less harsh and acidic, while placing a greater emphasis on the underlying flavors. That allows the beverages to impart a sweeter taste without actually veering off into liquid candy territory.

Just as good as before, and yet somehow better than ever? Now that’s a sweet change that I can fully embrace!

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

8 thoughts on “Soda Satisfaction

  1. I’m going to have to try the new version. The last time I had Zevia I wasn’t thrilled with it because the flavor was just a little too subtle. It sounds like the change is definitely an improvement!

  2. I’ve never heard of them but for soda (pop, to me) they sound good. I just don’t drink soda except for the occasional root beer. I’m a water or tea person. :-)

    janet

  3. Thanks for this review! Never seen these in Belgium before,..maybe one day! :)

  4. I’m usually fine without soda, but every once in a while I get a craving! Good to know there are options!

  5. I definitely enjoy a Zevia every once in awhile. I crave carbonated beverages, so when I want something other than seltzer, this is the only “soda” I’d every reach for at the grocery store. Monk fruit is entirely new to me, so I’m curious to hear more about it. Wonder if it too will become a raging trend.

  6. Oh goodness, I’m nervous! I reviewed this product years ago, and it has become a favorite with my niece and the only way we can keep her from guzzling tons of sugar drinks. I hope she still likes it after the change!

  7. I didn’t try these in Belgium but it is an excuse to go back for them :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  8. This is totally my choice of soda too and I am so happy it’s becoming more widely available! A couple years ago I had to go to health food stores, now they sell some in the tiny “urban” versions of big chain grocery stores near my apartment :)

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