Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Is there any soft drink still manufactured that's made with sugar, instead of corn syrup?

Asked by john65pennington (29253points) December 4th, 2010

I am a label reader. lately, I have been reading the labels on soft drinks cans and discovered that most are now made with corn syrup, instead of real sugar. Question: are there any brand name soft drinks that are still made with sugar, instead corn syrup? Does corn syrup change the taste of a soft drink and can you explain why the change from sugar to corn syrup?

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22 Answers

Sarcasm's avatar

Pepsi and Mountain Dew have “Throwback” variations that do use real sugar, and you can buy the “Hecho en México” Coca-Cola which is also made of real sugar.

I haven’t had either of the throwbacks, but I had some Mexican Coke and it didn’t really taste any different to me.
I believe they use HFCS because it’s cheaper for them, but I’m not entirely sure.

Cruiser's avatar

Pepesi and Mountain Dew both have put out throwback versions that contain Cane Sugar. Caution though…they are a “sugar shock” when you first chug them!

Go to Mexican food stores for Coke with real sugar in bottles as Coke made in Mexico apparently is still made with cane sugar AFAICT.

NanoBiscuit's avatar

Quite a few sodas still made with real sugar, primarily by small manufacturers. Here’s a link to the Soda Pop Shop where you may browse Pops for some made with real sugar, many flavors:

Deja_vu's avatar

The best Coca~Cola I ever had ws in Egypt…. just like @NanoBiscuit site he suggusted.

NanoBiscuit's avatar

Editing: i don’t know the reason why it changed, but i think the flavor is better.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Not that you can buy it locally, Hawaiian Sun uses Maui cane sugar.

marinelife's avatar

“That’s the case for River City Root Beer, which is manufactured in Sacramento by Blue Dog Beverages. The company distributes 450 other old-fashioned sodas, and Blue Dog Beverages owner Janet Lake estimates that 99 percent of them use cane sugar.”

Sacramento Bee

zenvelo's avatar

HFCS does change the flavor, and it does change how you metabolize the drink. The whole “New Coke” and “return of Coke Classic” in 1985 was to cover the switch from sugar to HFCS.

downtide's avatar

Can you get UK-made soft drinks in the US? Ours are all made with sugar. I guess because we don’t grow much corn here, so HFCS would actually be more expensive over here.

john65pennington's avatar

Downtide, thanks for the info. i did not realize that the soft drinks made in the UK contain only sugar. i can surely understand why not much corn is grown there. to my knowledge, we have no soft drinks, in the U.S., that were made in the UK. i still don’t understand why the switch was made from real sugar to corn syrup.

zenvelo's avatar

@john65pennington the switch was made from sugar to HFCS simply to save money. That’s why it is pervasive in manufactured products, and foods made with sugar cost a little more.

jaytkay's avatar

Kosher Coca-Cola for Passover


That is Galco’s Old World Grocery and if you are in LA it is worth a visit. It’s a small grocery store, but they replaced every other product with soda! ( Picture )

Mikewlf337's avatar

I don’t drink soft drinks often but I prefer sugar over high fructose corn syrup when I get a soft drink. I love the pepsi and mountain dew throwbacks. sugar is better for you than HFCS

Soubresaut's avatar

Whole Foods has a whole ton of sodas that are made with real sugar, since they don’t stock ones made with HFCS. I tried to find a list of theirs online of all their sodas to link here but couldn’t, not just soda all on the same page
I know that even the groceries stores near me where they don’t limit their products by ingredients, there are still some that are made with real cane sugar. My sister likes Thomas Kemper Rootbeer, it’s all natural.

They’re usually harder to find since they’re not the big brands, and they’re usually not on the prime shelving real estate, but they’re usually at least there.

I go through the pain of reading all the ingredients lists of practically all options of the products I by. I must look really weird when I’m shopping for food. But I’ve gotten to the point where I can read really fast, and generally know which brands to go for and avoid. And a lot of the smaller brand names, in all products, I find tend to use more natural ingredients.

dalepetrie's avatar

@zenvelo – I have always suspected what you said about Coke changing the formula to New Coke then back to Coke Classic as a cover for their change in formulation to HFCS, I’ve told a number of people my theory, but I’ve never heard anyone else iterate it. I’m curious where you came by your information, because I have always been sure this was a ruse.

I became convinced of this when they brought back Classic Coke, because I was a teenager, and I stashed several cases of old Coke and was drinking it all along, hadn’t even run out yet (in fact I still have a few cans) when Classic Coke came on the market. I liked it, but it wasn’t exactly the same…I knew because I’d been drinking it all along. I compared the ingredients on the can, and instead of sugar, it said high fructose corn syrup. I called the company’s customer service and asked them about it and they said that HCFS was sugar, it just came from a different source, and that some times they’d use this type of sugar and some times they’d use that type of sugar, but there was no difference at all in the sugars or the product.


zenvelo's avatar

@dalepetrie look up new coke on Wikipedia, under conspiracy theories. They used sugar before and HFCS after. And the two do taste different from each other, try having a blind test between regular coke and mexican coke.

Paradox's avatar

Big Ben’s. I’m not a big soda drinker anymore but they are one of the few soda brands where I can get the soda in a glass bottle. There’s nothing like the taste of soda made with real sugar that comes in a glass bottle (especially birch beer). I believe the plastic bottles distort the taste. I don’t think plastic is very safe as well. There are chemicals in plastic.

I also heard that high fructose corn syrup does something to keep you from feeling full so you jones for the food/drink that contains high fructose corn syrup more. I’m not sure if this is true but I’ve heard about this.

bkcunningham's avatar

It acts as a preservative, is simplier to process and the number one reason corn syrup is used in American manufactured foods, corn is subsidized. We subsidize overproduction making corn very cheap, which encourages farmers to plant more and more to make the same amount of money. Aww, that good old USDA.

clevergretel's avatar

Yes, go to the local health food store in your area and you will find some good options.

Supacase's avatar

Sierra Mist has recently changed to sugar. The cranberry version is delicious, but it is only around during the holidays.

rvlife's avatar

The Dr Pepper plant in Dublin, TX. still uses Imperial Pure Cane sugar. People drive for hours to load up their car with the stuff. It comes in glass bottles – 8oz, if I remember right.

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