General Question

TheRocketPig's avatar

When did the soda companies stop using sugar?

Asked by TheRocketPig (612points) June 29th, 2009 from iPhone

I know they have been using hf corn syrup for a long time. I was wondering just how long. Also, does anyone prefer corn syrup to sugar?

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37 Answers

chupacabra's avatar

Hf corn syrup is sugar. It is not derived from sugar cane like table sugar.

The properties of hf corn syrup make it the best choice for carbonated beverages.

I do not know if cane sugar was ever used in sodas.

shockvalue's avatar

Mexican coke still has cane sugar, as do many other soft drinks outside of the United States.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Jones still uses cane sugar.

JLeslie's avatar

Sidral uses cane…its an apple soda, kind of tastes like a cross between ginger ale and cream soda.

You can get “mexican coke” in many mexican restaurants and ethnic grocery stores.

I think they changed to sugar in the 70’s? I was just thinking about this the other day actually…did they change to corn syrup when they introduced “new coke?” I kind of remember everyone saying when they switched back to “classic” that the coke didn’t ever taste the same again.

whatthefluther's avatar

Between 1975 and 1985 per this.

PS: HFCS sucks. I drink Coke from Mexico and Yerba Mata soda (made with cane sugar).

Allie's avatar

Just a side question: Haven’t Pepsi and Coke started using real sugar in some of their sodas again? Like in Pepsi Throwback and that-other-Coke-one-which-I-forgot-the-name-of?

TheRocketPig's avatar

Yeah pepsi throwback and mountain dew throwback use real sugar. They most certainly have a lighter mouthfeel and taste crisper to me.

JLeslie's avatar

During passover coke is sugar. I actually wrote Coke about 2 years ago when Dr. Oz was on Oprah telling everyone that HFCS is killing everyone…told Coke they should start marketing cane sugar coke as a healthier alternative.

dalepetrie's avatar

Remember “New Coke”? Supposedly, the Coca-Cola corporation which had spent 100 years branding their product, making it part of our culture, yet they decided to change their secret formula because they “didn’t realize” how important Coke was to people. Bull-fucking-shit. It took what, about 6 months for Coca-Cola Classic to hit the shelves, and it was supposedly what Coke had been all along.

But I HAD some old Coke (still have a few cans in my basement). And when I tasted the first Classic Coke, I liked it, but it wasn’t “Old Coke”...I has stocked up enough so I was able to weather those 6 months. It was NOT the same. So, I looked at the cans, and the ingredients were EXACTLY the same, EXCEPT “Old Coke” had sugar and Coca Cola Classic had high fructose corn syrup.

So I called Coca Cola and I asked them, is Classic Coke REALLY the same as old Coke, because I HAVE some old Coke, and the ingredients are different. Stiff denials. So I read them the ingredients. They told me that they were both the same, they were both sugar, just produced in a different way.

Fucking liars. Basically this was a cost cutting measure, but they knew that people would notice if they just made the change, so they turned that negative into a positive by pretending to be dumb and acting like THEY didn’t know what the rest of the world knew…that Coke was not just a beverage, it was a part of our culture.

But hey, they HAD to do SOMETHING….the now late Michael Jackson was doing commercials for their competitor!

btko's avatar

Look up “Cane Cola”. it’s great if your looking for a less unhealthy beverage.

EmpressPixie's avatar

1. The Pepsi/Mountain Dew Throwbacks were a short-term promotion that is mostly over now. If you want sugar in Pepsi you will have to find Pepsi Natural or some similar name—and it costs.
2. @chupacabra: Yes, all sodas were sugar before HFCS existed. It’s a fairly new invention. The reason for the switch was that corn syrup is cheaper. That’s it. That is what makes it “best”.
3. Coke only makes SOME Passover Coke, it’s generally hard to find, you have to read the labels—it is best identified by a yellow cap.
4. There is no healthy soda. But is appears from what we know that sugar is healthier than HFCS.

dalepetrie's avatar

Most grocery stores in cities of any size now have an authentic Mexican area. Go there and you can get bottles of Coke made with sugar.

I really shouldn’t have Coke at all because of diabetes, but I can’t stand Diet Coke and every now and then, nothing but Coke will do. So in addition to the other places I have to cut calories to make it work, what I do is I mix Coke 1/2 and 1/2 with Coke Zero. The Zero stuff when I drink it, the first half of the can tastes good, then the more I drink, the more diet-y it tastes, but if I mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with regular Coke (preferably Mexican Coke), then I get a beverage which has the same carbs as a glass of milk…albeit it’s still not as healthy a choice, but it really does taste just like Coke without the weird diet aftertaste. I had to learn that trick because I absolutely LOVED C2, the 1/2 calorie Coke they put out during the low carb craze, but once that craze died down, all the products I was so thrilled I could actually eat again just went away.


kevbo's avatar

The kosher (cane sugar) Coke that @JLeslie mentioned has a yellow cap.

God damn, does Jones soda give you a mildly heroin-like sugar high. Have you tried their red apple? It tastes just like a red delicious. Weird.

In New Mexico, we also have Blue Sky soda, which is canned in Santa Fe and uses cane sugar.

TheRocketPig's avatar

@EmpressPixie there still is plenty Throwback sodas here in Orlando (I’m actually drinking one now!)

@chris6137 That article is pretty good, the whole part about HFCS inhibiting leptin secretion was particularly interesting.

Last time I was in DC I had Cricket Green Tea Cola, which has cane sugar, and HOLY CRAP was it good. If it wasn’t so expensive to ship… I would live off of that stuff.

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie so I was right. New coke was the time they switched to HFCS! Bastards! Thank you for confirming my hypothesis. You know, if you go to Coca-Cola in Atlanta and drink the coke they serve it is FANTASTIC, I think it is the old formula…It’s like childhood to me…my mother used to put it in my bottle when I was a toddler as a treat…my husbands mother did the same thing, that is why I amrried him.

dalepetrie's avatar

@JLeslie – quite a scam, eh? I was all of 14 and I figured out what those bastards were up to.

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie VERY VERY upsetting. You have no idea…my family is VERY coke loyal. When I was a kid we couldn’t eat at Burger King because they had a pepsi contract. My mother taped the “coke is it” jingle so she could listen to it along with her oldies but goodies (ok she was a little overboard). We should start a petition…cane coke or no coke. Meanwhile, I quit caffiene 10 years ago. I do cheat now and then and have a few ounces of coke, but rarely. STILL! It ain’t right.

dalepetrie's avatar

@JLeslie – I started a petition to bring back C2, got over 100 testimonials, it’s meaningless, Coke is going to do whatever will make it the most money at the given moment. If the get rid of HFCS fad becomes long lasting enough, they will end up bottling sugar Coke…if the furor dies down, they’ll get rid of that product, if it grows, they’ll switch their sweetener again. HFCS is just cheaper, plain and simple, and if they found for example a cheaper source of carmel coloring, they’d take it. It’s all about the Benjamins.

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie LOL! I love it…you’re awesome. Here’s the thing when I wrote coke I told them people would pay more for the real thing. How much more can it be 10 cents a can, not even for them to make it I bet. If people are duped into thinking it is healthier for them, which I personally don’t believe, but that is besides the point…I want it just for the flavor…I would pay a little more for it. I do now at the Mexican restaurants.

dalepetrie's avatar

I expect if they respond, they’ll at best tell you where the local Mexican grocery store is in your neighborhood and tell you that you can buy it there. Let me know what they say.

JLeslie's avatar

I wrote a couple of years ago. I don’t think I got a response—figures—after I had spent something like $300 at their museum store on coke clothing—ha! I once wrote General Mills cereal and they gave me a very nice response that showed they had read what I wrote and not just some automated thingy.

dalepetrie's avatar

@JLeslie – you should read, if you haven’t already, the three books, each titled or subtitled “Letters From a Nut” by Ted L. Nancy which may or may not be a pseudonym for Jerry Seinfeld (according to this article it’s not, but then again….) Basically though, I recommend it because it’s a collection of letters to, and responses from companies, but the letters are simply ridiculous, and it’s funny to see how the suits at these companies handle the responses.

I can tell you two times I wrote letters, just to give you an idea of how differently they might respond. Once, I bit into something hard in a Goo Goo Cluster candy bar when I was a kid. My mom and I wrote a letter and enclosed it. They said it was a grass seed, and sent us a case of candy bars. Well then one time I wrote to JustBorn candies, makes of Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike’s. I told them that I was very disappointed that they started putting strawberry candies in the Mike and Ike’s. It didn’t make sense to me (still doesn’t), because my whole life, it had been cherry, lime, lemon and orange…all tart, citrus-y fruits…cherry maybe the exception, but in my opinion, cherry goes far better with citrus than with berry…you’re far more likely to see cherry lemonade than you are to see cherries and berries mixed together in something. I contended that berry flavors just plain don’t belong in Mike and Ike’s…there are other berry themed candies they make or made, and I didn’t understand why now, 20% of every box of Mike and Ike’s I bought would have to go to waste because I simply can’t stand them. Well, I didn’t expect they’d get rid of the strawberry candies, but I thought, maybe they’ll send me coupons to try some of their other products to see if I could find something I liked instead…that’s a pretty standard response. Instead, I got a letter that bordered on insulting, saying they were “sorry”, but they’d made this change years ago to make the candies like they used to be originally when they DID have strawberry (why’d they get rid of them in the first place then if it was such a good idea, I wondered). But basically it almost felt like a “screw you, if you don’t like it then piss off” letter.

Life is simpler now in some ways, now that I don’t eat candy and drink soda (at least not much).

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie I think we might be related?

To give you encouragement to continue giving your comments to companies….years ago I called Fleishmanns margerine because they had changed the flavor to some new and improved version that was awful. When I called to complain they said they had already had so many complaints they were switching back and told me when it should be on the shelves at my supermarket, and they sent me coupons for two free boxes.

andrew's avatar

@dalepetrie Really? You don’t like Coke Zero? To me, it tastes better than regular coke, which is just way too sweet. I suppose my taste buds have been fried by phenylalanine.

See also:

dalepetrie's avatar

@andrew – actually I DO like Zero, it’s just that after I drink about half of it, suddenly it starts to taste different, like diet…I think the flavor is good, and if 6 ounces of liquid were enough for me, it would probably be OK, but I get to the last half of the can or bottle, I’m still thirsty and suddenly it tastes like I’m drinking diet soda. That’s why I like to mix it with regular…it takes care of that problem.

@JLeslie – yeah, I used to write and call companies all the time, I’ve kind of been disappointed too many times now though. :< Though some times it works out for me. I called Pepsi once too, I really like Wild Cherry Pepsi (or did), and when I was in college it was introduced where I was going to school, but when I went back home over the summer, I couldn’t find it. Turned out they were “test marketing” it. Fortunately, the tests must have gone well. But for every product that I liked that made it, there are 10 that didn’t. One of my college favorites was Pepperoni Crazy Bread at Little Caear’s, but I only ever saw it at that one store. They would take the raw pizza dough and cut it into large strips, put pepperoni and cheese in it and fold it over and twist it, then they’d cover it in this garlic butter and bake it and serve it with the sauce. It was WAY better than their pizza.

buster's avatar

In the south Sun-Drop, Ne-Hi, and Cheerwine in the longneck glass bottles have cane sugar. Those versions in plastic and cans have corn syrup and have a more syrupry thicker feel in my mouth. Maybe because it was hot and humid but the best coke I ever drank in my life was after hiking through the jungle in Yucatan Mexico.

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie I have this feeling if I named all of the things I am brand loyal too, yours might be the same…Coke products, Hellmann’s mayo, Chicken of the sea chunk white tuna, Cottonelle TP, B&R Jamoca almond fudge, Polly-o mozzerella in the block, Hebrew National mustard, Entemann’s chocolate chip cookies, Royal pudding dark and sweet chocolate pudding (almost impossible to find) list could go on and on…no substitutes! Or maybe you are just a cola connouiser.

dalepetrie's avatar

@JLeslie – actually, some things I’m brand loyal. Coke was always one of them, though it’s not like I wouldn’t drink Pepsi or even RC in a pinch. And like I said, I genuinely like Wild Cherry Pepsi, actually far better than Cherry Coke. I’ll agree on COTS tuna being the best, but I’d generally eat whatever. Cookies, a lot of the other stuff either I’m not all that brand conscious, I haven’t heard of, or I don’t eat (not a mustard person for example, and have never hear of B&R or Royal). As for TP, I was a Quilted Northern guy, but a lot of other brands have come a long way. For me I have a few brand loyalties. One is Heinz Ketchup, I can’t STAND Hunts or any other off brands. Campbells is the only condensed soups I will eat, no one else has gotten the flavor right. Though I’m OK with Hunts canned spaghetti sauces, but Prego is what I prefer, I can’t stand Ragu (though making it myself is better than both, I just don’t have the time). Ortega makes the only taco sauce I really like. But it’s the things I can’t find or which have stopped being produced to which I’m brand loyal that are frustrating. I mentioned the pepperoni crazy bread and the C2, but one I loved was Hydrox cookies, WAY better than Oreos, but they don’t make em any more. Then they teased us and brought them back last Christmas for like a 100th anniversary, but as soon as they were out, they were gone. I also loved Siefer’s Valomilk candy bars, look kind of like a large peanut butter cup, but instead of PB, inside is a marshmallow creme that’s unlike anything else. Very few people carry it and you can’t even get them in some areas of the country because the creme leaks out if they are transported over high altitudes, so they can only go places they can be shipped by truck. I learned about that in the Book “Candyfreak” by Steve Almond, a must read for anyone who likes candy. A lot of it is about how the big candy producers (and this is certainly true of soda and other things) will squeeze out the competition by buying up shelf space. I prefer Barilla pastas. I like Village Hearth Light Italian bread. And there is a brand of frozen burritos called Marquez that I can only get by driving 3 1/2 hours north to my parents’ house, as they don’t sell them where I live. And it’s frustrating in restaurants too, often times it’s my favorite menu item that disappears. Red Robin’s Ragin’ Cajun chickenburger comes to mind (fortunately they still can make it if you request it).

Damn, now I’m hungry.

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie Heinz ONLY! Hunts sucks. Campbells is the only one. Barilla and Muellers pasta for me. For candy one hard to find is Peanut Chews. Classico ripe olive and mushroom spaghetti sauce for me…if I can’t find it I’ll by Bertolli sauce.

What part of the country are you in? I live in Memphis now and this has been the most difficult city to find my brands.

dalepetrie's avatar

I’m in St. Paul, Minnesota. We might have to tell each other what brands we can’t find and arrange a swap via UPS or something some day, hehe.

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie Don’t laugh. My mother several years ago could not find Royal dark and sweet in the supermarket…called the company and they were only selling it in 4 states going forward…Maine was one of them. Luckily, one of her close friends from college lived in Maine and she would ship a dozen twice a year. 2 or 3 years ago Helene moved from Maine and now my mom buys it directly from the company a case at a time. Every time I go to Nashville, NY, or FL I stock up on some stuff that I can’t find near me.

By the way about the sugar in soda. I have decided to go on a coke diet. When I was younger and drinking coke all of the time, I never craved sweets. It makes sense since I was drinking all of that sugar. Now, since I do not drink soda (pop for you midwesterners) I crave cake and chocolate (I think the chocolate has to do with the caffiene also) and all sorts of bad stuff. The coke was better than all of the eggs and butter in those other treats. Maybe coke really is the healthier choice if you are unhealthy like me?

dalepetrie's avatar

Makes me curious, do you have mint M&M’s for sale out there? They were everywhere out east, but in the midwest you can’t get them.

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie We had those high end ones that come mint, coffee, etc. I don’t remember seeing them packaged like the regular candy, but I just saw strawberry peanut butter m&m’s in the regular packaging. I am more of a purest, I like the original, just chocolate and candy coated shell, so I might have missed them if they are here.

dalepetrie's avatar

Oh no, I was talking about regular packaging. Maybe it’s further northeast, or maybe they didn’t test market well enough.

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie here is the link
I don’t see mint, but they are coming out with coconut, that might be worthwhile.

dalepetrie's avatar

@JLeslie – hmm, must have been a limited time thing. One thing I love about M&Ms, you go to the store, you can get a 14 ounce bag for like a buck fifty on sale. You go to M&M’s world, or order the custom colors on line they want 12 bucks for 16 ounces. Yeah, right.

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