Soft Drinks Compared

Canstar Blue’s soft drinks review has seen Kirks, Solo, Bundaberg, Schweppes, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Coles, Woolworths, Sprite, Mountain Dew and Sunkist compared on their taste, variety, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction.

See Our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Kirks

Kirks popped to the top of Canstar Blue’s soft drinks review, with five stars for variety, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

Kirks bubbles to the top in soft drink ratings

Soft drinks are soda-licious! Cracking a cold can of Cola or lemonade after a long day at work or to accompany a meal is one of life’s simplest pleasures. It’s no wonder one in five Aussies (21%) who responded to our survey said they enjoy a fizzy tonic every day. And luckily for us, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to carbonated bevies. Think creaming soda and ginger ale, or any other tingly combinations like lemon squash, passion fruit punch; or even raspberry fizz! You get the gist – soft drinks come in all flavours and colours. This in turn does beg the question – is there one soft drink brand that fizzles up above the rest?

To find out, we asked more than 1,900 Aussie consumers to rate the soft drinks they’ve purchased from a supermarket or grocer, and consumed in the last three months. Survey respondents rated different brands on important factors like taste, variety, packaging design, and value for money. Brands that met the minimum required survey sample size (30 responses) were each given a final score per category and for overall satisfaction.

So, which brands crushed it and which got canned? In our 2021 review, only one was rated ‘top glass’ — Kirks! The brand scored five stars for variety, packaging, value for money and overall satisfaction.

Best Soft Drinks

Best soft drinks review

Here are the best soft drink brands in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:

  1. Kirks
  2. Solo
  3. Bundaberg
  4. Schweppes
  5. Pepsi
  6. Coca-Cola
  7. Fanta
  8. Coles
  9. Woolworths
  10. Sprite
  11. Mountain Dew
  12. Sunkist

Cheers to Kirks for bubbling to the top of our ratings! It achieved the only five-star review for overall satisfaction and in the majority of categories.

Most brands scored four stars for overall satisfaction, lumping together big names like Schweppes, Pepsi, Fanta and even Coca-Cola. Sprite, Mountain Dew and Sunkist fizzled out in most categories with only three stars, including for variety and overall satisfaction. Meanwhile, Kirks and Coles were the only two brands (out of 12) to rate five stars for value for money.

In the taste stakes, Bundaberg showed ‘bundy’ is best, earning the only five-star rating for that classification, similarly to Schweppes for variety. It’s also worth mentioning that the seven top brands in our ratings also managed to score full marks for packaging design, suggesting consumers care about what’s on the outside as much as what’s inside.

Soft Drinks

Kirks

Kirks soft drink review

Kirks is one of Australia’s original soft drink makers since 1865, and a favourite thirst-quencher for anyone who values quality and authenticity. It’s currently owned, manufactured, and distributed by Coca-Cola. Kirks lemonade and Pasito are probably the two most iconic products in the range, as classic as a pair of Havaianas thongs! Plus, they contain no artificial colours or flavours. Kirks has a wide selection of soft drinks with 13 flavours to choose from, including:

  • Kirks Creaming Soda
  • Kirks Lemonade
  • Kirks Pasito
  • Kirks Big Sars
  • Kirks Lemon Squash
  • Kirks Indian Tonic Water
  • Kirks Club Soda Water
  • Kirks Dry Ginger Ale

Prices for a 1.25L bottle of Kirks goodness start from $1.85 in most supermarkets.

  • Kirks scored five stars in most categories, including variety, packaging design, value for money and overall satisfaction. It got four stars for taste.

Solo

Solo soft drink review

Solo has been crushing the thirst of Aussies with its original pub squash since 1973. Dare we say it remains our favourite lemon-flavoured bevy today, especially after a hard day’s work? Yes! Solo products contain 5% crushed lemons and no artificial colours and flavours. An affiliate of Schweppes, Solo has kept to its lemon roots with only two products in its range:

  • Solo Original Lemon
  • Solo Original Lemon No Sugar

A 1.25L bottle of Solo Lemon can cost upwards of $2.35 in most supermarkets.

  • Solo got five stars for packaging design and four stars in the remaining categories, including overall satisfaction.

Bundaberg

Bundaberg soft drink review

Bundaberg or ‘bundy’ as we often call it, makes craft brewed premium soft drinks which Aussies have loved for yonks. The brand is also famous for its tagline ‘brewed to be better’. Bundaberg Co is a family-owned business founded by the Flemings, who still run it today. Bundaberg offers a wide range of fizzy combinations, including:

  • Bundaberg Ginger Beer
  • Bundaberg Lemon
  • Bundaberg Lime and Bitters
  • Bundaberg Sarsaparilla/Root Beer
  • Bundaberg Creaming Soda
  • Bundaberg Peach
  • Bundaberg Pink Grapefruit
  • Bundaberg Guava
  • Bundaberg Blood Orange

A 1.25L bottle of Bundaberg ginger beer can cost upwards of $2.45.

  • Bundaberg was rated five stars for taste and packaging design, plus four stars in the remaining areas and overall satisfaction.

Schweppes

Schweppes soft drink review

Schweppes is one of the finest creators of mixers, mineral waters and sparkling beverages since 1783. The brand’s wide soft drink offering has a unique depth of flavour and quality, thanks to the techniques and recipes it’s crafted and refined over the last two centuries. The Schweppes product range includes the following flavours:

  • Schweppes Lemonade
  • Schweppes Agrum Blood Orange
  • Schweppes Diet Dry Ginger Ale
  • Schweppes Brown Cream Soda
  • Schweppes Sarsaparilla
  • Schweppes Lemon Lime & Bitters

Prices for a 1.1L bottle of Schweppes start from $1.65 in most supermarkets.

  • Schweppes received five stars for variety and packaging design, and four stars for overall satisfaction and everywhere else.

Pepsi

Pepsi soft drink review

Pepsi is the PepsiCo. signature cola drink and another leading brand that’s quenching Aussies’ thirsts with a variety of bubbly beverages. Some include Pepsi, Pepsi Mango, Pepsi Vanilla and Pepsi Creaming Soda. These are available in a wide range of sizes, from 200ml cans to 2L bottles. Pepsi can set you back just $3.25 for the largest bottle at most supermarkets.

You can alternatively grab a Pepsi Max, Pepsi’s other sibling, for a sugar-free option with ‘max taste’.

  • Pepsi was rated five stars for packaging design and four stars everywhere else, including overall satisfaction.

Coca-Cola

Coca Cola soft drink review

Coca-Cola needs no introduction unless of course, you haven’t lived on Earth. But did you know the brand started in Australia with just 10 staff and four trucks? Coca-Cola now offers the widest range of beverages including waters, iced teas, juices and carbonated drinks. Coca-Cola also owns big-name brands like Sprite and Fanta. Here’s a product selection from its classic Coca-Cola range:

  • Diet Coke
  • Coke Zero
  • Coca-Cola Classic Vanilla
  • Coca-Cola Energy
  • Coca-Cola Energy No Sugar
  • Diet Coke Caffeine Free

Prices for a Coca-Cola 1.5L bottle start from $3.50 in most supermarkets and online.

  • Coca-Cola scored four stars in most categories including for overall satisfaction. It got five stars for packaging design.

Fanta

Fanta review

Owned by Coca-Cola, Fanta is behind our favourite fruit-flavoured carbonated drink, first bringing us the original Fanta Orange and various juicier combinations after that. It’s a soft drink with a tingly, fruity taste, made with 2% juice and contains no artificial colours or flavours. The Fanta product range includes the following options:

  • Fanta Orange
  • Fanta Zero Orange
  • Fanta Grape
  • Fanta Raspberry
  • Fanta Passionfruit Cream

A 1.25L bottle of Fanta Orange can cost upwards of $2.20 in most supermarkets.

  • Fanta rated evenly across the board, earning a satisfactory four-star rating in most categories including overall satisfaction. It got five stars for packaging design.

Coles

Coles soft drink review

The Coles own brand range also has a good selection of soft drink combos and flavours at great prices. Here’s a product selection from the supermarket’s private label range:

  • Coles Cola
  • Coles Lemonade
  • Coles Dry Ginger Ale
  • Coles Creaming Soda
  • Coles Orange Fizz

Prices for a 1.25L bottle of Coles soft drink start from $0.75 at Coles, in stores and online.

  • Coles rated five stars for value for money and four stars for overall satisfaction and everywhere else.

Woolworths

Woolworths soft drink review

Woolworths has a great range of homebrand soft drinks available in stores and online. The supermarket giant offers a wide selection of canned and bottled soft drinks including crowd favourites like:

  • Woolworths Cola
  • Woolworths Lemonade
  • Woolworths Dry Ginger Ale
  • Woolworths Creaming Soda
  • Woolworths Raspberry Fizz
  • Woolworths Passion Fruit Fizz

A 1.25L bottle of Woolies soft drink can cost just $0.75 in stores and online.

  • Woolies swept the board with a clean four stars in all categories and for overall satisfaction.

Sprite

Sprite soft drink review

Sprite is another Coca-Cola product. It’s the lemonade with a crisp, clean taste and a distinctive colourless appearance that Aussies have loved for generations. The Sprite product range includes two easy peasy lemon squeezy options:

  • Sprite Lemonade
  • Sprite Lemonade No Sugar

Prices for a 1.25L bottle of Sprite Lemonade start from $2.50 at most retailers.

  • Sprite received four stars for taste, value for money and packaging design, and three stars in the remaining areas including overall satisfaction.

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew review

Owned by PepsiCo, Mountain Dew is a citrus-flavoured energised soft drink. It’s said to have been originally developed as a mixer for whiskey in 1940, by Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman. Today, Mountain Dew is a favourite among Aussies, especially as refreshment with a KFC meal! Options available include:

  • Mountain Dew Caffeinated Citrus
  • Mountain Dew Soft Drink No Sugar

A 1.25L bottle of Mountain Dew costs about $1.30 in most supermarkets.

  • Mountain Dew got four stars for taste and three stars for overall satisfaction and in the remaining categories.

Sunkist

Sunkist soft drink review

Sunkist is known as the brand behind the orange-flavoured soft drink of our childhood memories. Today, the brand offers more than 10 different Sunkist sodas to love and share, with no artificial colours or flavours. Here’s a selection from the Sunkist product range:

  • Sunkist Orange Soda
  • Sunkist Grape Soda
  • Sunkist Strawberry Soda
  • Sunkist Fruit Punch Soda
  • Sunkist Lemonade
  • Sunkist Pink Lemonade

Prices for a Sunkist 1.25L bottle start from $2.20 in most supermarkets and online.

  • Sunkist rounded up the scores with three stars across all categories.

Which soft drinks should I buy?

This will all depend on your preferred flavour. Do you like a fruity, tingly taste or more of a robust, spicy taste? A previous Canstar Blue survey suggested that lemonade was the most popular drink type among respondents (19%), followed by Coke (15%) and ginger beer (14%). Luckily, soft drinks come in all flavours and colours which means you’ll have plenty of options to try until you find a soda that makes your taste buds pop.

About the author of this page

Megan Birot

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.

Online Grocery Shopping

More about Soft Drinks

  • Best overall: Kirks bumped its way to the number one spot for overall satisfaction, followed by Solo and Bundaberg.
  • Best taste: Bundaberg scored top marks in the taste stakes, beating Solo and Kirks only by a fraction.
  • Best value for money: Kirks was rated the best bang for your buck, ahead of Coles and Woolies.
  • Best range/variety: Kirks topped the scoreboard for variety, followed by Schweppes and then Bundaberg.
  • Best packaging design: Kirks was rated best for packaging design, with Schweppes and Pepsi closely behind.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 soft drinks in the last three months– in this case, 1,929 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.

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