Canstar Blue’s latest cola review compares Coca-Cola No Sugar (formerly Coke Zero), Coca-Cola, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Regular and Diet Coke on taste, packaging design, range variety, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Cola is soda-licious! In fact, a recent Canstar Blue survey found that it’s Aussies’ favourite soft drink flavour before lemonade and ginger ale. Besides the everlasting debate over Coca-Cola versus Pepsi and which is better than the other, everyone can agree that cola is a refreshment like no other. But if you’re still unsure on which cola product or brand is best, don’t stress. We’ve researched to find out which colas fizzle and which fall flat.
We asked nearly 900 Aussie consumers to rate the different products and brands of carbonated cola they’ve purchased from a supermarket or grocer and consumed within the last three months. Survey respondents rated products on taste, packaging design, variety, value for money and overall satisfaction. Brands that met the minimum required survey sample size (30 responses) are included in the results.
Coca-Cola No Sugar (formerly Coke Zero) was rated the best cola soft drink, knocking Pepsi Max off the top spot after two years. It received five-star reviews in most categories, including overall satisfaction.
Here are the best cola brands in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s review:
Coca-Cola No Sugar was the top pick in our latest cola soft drinks ratings, achieving five stars for taste, variety, packaging and overall satisfaction. Pepsi Max blitzed ahead when rated on value for money, with Diet Coke similarly receiving full marks for packaging design.
Coca-Cola No Sugar (formerly Coke Zero) offers the same classic Coca-Cola taste but without the… sugar, duh! Instead, it’s sweetened with the same sugar alternatives as Diet Coke. Coca-Cola No Sugar products include:
A 1.25L bottle of Coca-Cola No Sugar can cost about $3.15 from most supermarkets.
Everyone knows the taste of Coca-Cola. That’s why the recipe for the classic Coca-Cola has remained unchanged for more than 130 years. Coca-Cola comes in a wide range of original and limited-edition flavours and also as an energy drink for that extra caffeine hit. Some Coca-Cola products include:
A 1.25L bottle of Coca-Cola costs about $3.55 from most supermarkets, but like with Pepsi Max, you can often pick up larger cans for less!
Pepsi Max is marketed as the low-calorie, sugar-free version of classic Pepsi. It’s crisp, refreshing and marketed as offering ‘max taste, no sugar’ and if our survey results are anything to go by, Aussies definitely agree. Pepsi Max comes in a few different flavours, including:
Prices for a Pepsi Max 1.25L bottle start from $2.50 in most supermarkets, though you can often pick up the 2L bottle variety for a fraction less. Supermarkets work in mysterious ways!
Pepsi is one of the most recognisable brands globally, thanks to its distinctive blue labelling, original taste and iconic marketing campaigns throughout the years. It’s long been a popular refreshment for any shindig and meals with friends. The Pepsi range includes:
Pepsi usually costs around $2.50 in most supermarkets.
Diet Coke, sometimes also referred to as Coca-Cola Diet delivers a distinctively unique and lighter taste to classic Coca-Cola. It’s sugar-free and is claimed to contain next to zero calories. Products include:
Diet Coke can cost anywhere between $3.55 to just over $4.
The refreshing ‘bite’ from cola might be the perfect way to finish off a burger and fries, but soft drinks (which contain sugars) aren’t considered healthy by normal standards and should only be consumed in moderation. Cola contains caffeine, which can have short-term benefits like increased energy and improved mood. However, regular or excessive consumption could cause anxiety and adverse effects on your health long-term.
Our research found that almost one in three consumers (29%) opt for sugar-free or low-sugar varieties because they believe they’re healthier. Although, most people are not concerned with how much soft drink they consume (48%).
Ahh that’s a question for the ages. The general consensus is that Coca-Cola products are distinctively bolder in taste, while Pepsi products and supermarket cola brands are considered better bang for buck.
Don’t forget though that cola syrups and soft drinks more broadly are high in sugars. So, if you’re looking after your waistline, you may want to opt for zero sugar or ‘light’ cola products. Look at the nutritional information label of different products and check out the calories per serve as well as the ratio of sugars and sweeteners, to food acids and carbonated water.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased (from a supermarket or grocer) and consumed carbonated colas in the last three months– in this case, 886 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Here are the past winners of our cola ratings:
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